TOOTH INJURY & LOSS (Tooth Avulsion)
TOOTH INJURY & LOSS
DESCRIPTIONTooth avulsion is damage to a tooth severe enough to separate it completely from the gum and bone without fracture. Children whose front teeth have short, slender roots are most likely to lose teeth through injury. The teeth, the bones that hold teeth, and the gums and soft tissue surrounding the tooth, including nerves, blood vessels and covering to bone (periosteum) are involved.
Appropriate health care includes:
Dentist's or oral surgeon's evaluation and replantation of an avulsed tooth, with blood studies after surgery to evaluate blood loss and infection.
The dentist or oral surgeon will:
Cleanse the socket.
Remove the nerve from the child's tooth and fill the root canal with a plasticlike material before the tooth is replaced.
Replace the child's tooth in its socket.
Anchor the tooth to neighboring teeth with wire or plastic. The child's tooth must be held in place for 6 to 8 weeks.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSA missing tooth.
Pain and bleeding from the tooth site.
Swelling of the child's gums soon after injury.
Direct blow to the child's tooth and gum.
Contact sports, especially football and boxing; poor nutrition, especially calcium deficiency; poor dental hygiene or gum disease.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCEYour child should wear a helmet, strong face guard, and mouthpiece whenever possible during contact sports.
MEDICAL TESTSYour own observation of symptoms; medical history and physical exam by your dentist or oral surgeon; X-rays of the child's mouth and jaw to detect additional injuries.
POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONSPermanent tooth loss if the replantation fails; excessive bleeding; infection.
Allow about 4 weeks for recovery from surgery if complications don't occur. After it heals, the child's tooth often appears normal. If it darkens, a plastic or porcelain dental veneer can be applied to make it cosmetically acceptable.
Find and wash the missing tooth or teeth.
Replace the child's tooth in its socket as soon as possible.
If you cannot replace the tooth in its socket, wash it and keep it wet in a wet cloth until you reach a dentist or doctor. Put a moist cloth in the empty socket and have the child bite on it.
Go to the child's dentist or to the emergency room immediately. Hurry! The longer the tooth stays out of the mouth, the less the chance of saving it.
Instructions for your child after replantation:
Don't rinse your mouth, spit, smoke, or suck on straws for 24 hours after tooth replantation.
After 24 hours, brush your other teeth often with a soft toothbrush. A clean mouth heals faster. Don't brush the injured tooth until you have clearance from your dentist.
Beginning 24 hours after surgery, rinse your mouth every 1 to 2 hours with a solution of 1/2 teaspoon salt in 8 oz. of lukewarm water.
Don't bite down on the affected tooth until healing is complete.
MEDICATIONUse non-prescription drugs such as acetaminophen for minor pain.
Your doctor may prescribe:
-- Pain relievers. Don't give the child prescription pain medication longer than 4 to 7 days. Use only as much as the child needs.
-- Antibiotics to fight infection.
Your child should avoid vigorous physical exercise for 4 to 6 weeks following surgery and should wear a face mask when resuming sports activity.
DIET & FLUIDS
Adequate food and fluid intake following surgery will promote more rapid healing. If your child can't avoid putting pressure on the tooth by eating a normal diet, use a liquid high-protein diet for 2 to 3 days. The child should avoid all alcoholic beverages during healing.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?Yes, when condition and sense of well-being will allow.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has a tooth knocked out.
Any of the following occur after surgery: increased mouth pain, swelling, redness, drainage, or bleeding; signs of infection (headache, muscle aches, dizziness, or a general ill feeling and fever).