Dental Trauma

Dental Trauma

Frequently asked questions about dental trauma

  1. What is dental trauma?
  2. What are the symptoms of dental trauma?
  3. When do I need to see a dentist?
  4. How can I prevent dental trauma?


1. What is dental trauma?

Dental trauma is an injury to the mouth, including the lips, teeth, and tongue, which are common in children and young adults.

The most common dental injuries are a bumped or wobbly tooth, chipped tooth, knocked out tooth or jaw fracture due to falling over, playing sports, and fighting.

Dental traumas are time sensitive issues; therefore, it is important to know what to do if you are in this situation! The first few minutes after the injury are very important to the patient’s outcome.

A bumped tooth may feel wobbly or loose and may have moved from its original position within the mouth. These injuries may occur with or without bleeding. The tooth will feel tender to touch.

The enamel can break and the tooth becomes chipped, this can be a small chip or a larger one which may include blood from the gums or from within the tooth. These injuries might not cause any pain. If there is blood coming from within the tooth, you need to contact a dentist as soon as possible, and try to keep the tooth and mouth clean. Small chips are usually nothing to worry about, however it is always advised to contact your dental surgery!

If your child knocks out a baby tooth due to trauma, you need to contact your dentist immediately and bring the baby tooth with you in a container. If the tooth is a permanent tooth, you need to contact your dentist or an emergency dentist ASAP and bring the tooth in a small container of milk. If possible, rinse the tooth under water but try not to touch the root – hold it by the crown, which is the part that is normally seen in the mouth. Please call your dentist if you would like some over the phone guidance whilst on the way to the dental surgery.

Fractures of the jaw need to be seen by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMFS) at the hospital. Go straight to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital.


2. What are the symptoms of dental trauma?

  • Chipped tooth
  • Sore to touch
  • Wobbly tooth
  • Tooth has moved from its original position
  • Bleeding from the gums
  • Bleeding from within the tooth
  • Pain
  • Tooth has been knocked out


3. When do I need to see a dentist?

Firstly, you need to identify if the trauma is dental only, or if any other part of the body or the head is injured or concussed, if this is the case then then you must go straight to the accident and emergency at your local hospital.

If you have any of the above symptoms of dental trauma then you should call your dentist, or an emergency dentist as soon as possible to get an appointment booked.

If you have chipped the tooth, or knocked out the tooth, please take the fragments with you to your dental appointment.

At your appointment, your dentist will take X-Rays of the injured tooth, surrounding bone and adjacent teeth to rule out any other issues.

Your dentist will come up with multiple treatment plans and explain the pros and cons of each one to help you decide which option you would like to take.


3. How can I prevent dental trauma?

Dental trauma is often unavoidable and caused by accidents, however there are ways to minimise the chances of having an accident.

  1. Sports – ensure that you or your child has the correct safety gear for the sport they are playing. Mouthguards are incredibly important and should be made for you by your dentist, as they are more stable in the mouth, fit better and protect your teeth, upper jaw, and lips.
  2. Supervising small children as much as possible
  3. Wearing seatbelts – your seatbelt will lock in the event of an emergency stop or accident and this prevents your mouth from hitting the car interior or your knees
  4. Helmets – cycling, motorsports, quadbikes, horse riding, ensure that your helmet is up-to-date and meets the necessary safety guidelines for the desired activity


If you would like more information about dental trauma, or concerned about knock to your mouth, why not give us a call on 01772 335207 or fill out the contact form and we will be in touch.

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