Injuries to the mouth may include teeth that are knocked
out (avulsed), forced out of position (extruded) or broken
(fractured). Sometimes lips, gums or cheeks have cuts. Oral
injuries are often painful, and should be treated by a dentist
as soon as possible.
When a tooth is knocked out you should:
- Immediately call your dentist for an emergency appointment.
- Attempt to find the tooth.
- Gently rinse, but do not scrub the tooth to remove dirt
- Place the clean tooth in your mouth between the cheek
- Do not attempt to replace the tooth into the socket. This
could cause further damage.
- Get to the dentist as soon as possible. If it is within
a half hour of the injury, it may be possible to re-implant
- If it is not possible to store the tooth in the mouth
of the injured person, (e.g. young child) wrap the tooth
in a clean cloth or gauze and immerse in milk.
If the tooth is pushed out of place (inward or outward), it
should be repositioned to its normal alignment with very light
finger pressure. Do not force the tooth into the socket. Hold
the tooth in place with a moist tissue or gauze. Again, it
is vital that a dentist see the injured individual within
How a fractured tooth is treated will depend on how badly
it is broken. Regardless of the damage, a dentist should always
Minor fractures can be smoothed by your dentist with a sandpaper
disc or simply left alone. Another option is to restore the
tooth with a composite restoration. In either case, you should
treat the tooth with care for several days.
Moderate fractures include damage to the enamel, dentin, and/or
pulp. If the pulp is not permanently damaged, the tooth may
be restored with a full permanent crown. If damage to the
pulp does occur further dental treatment will be required.
Severe fractures often mean a traumatized tooth with a slim
chance of recovery.
Injuries to the soft tissues of the mouth
Injuries to the inside of the mouth include tears, puncture
wounds and lacerations to the cheek, lips or tongue. The wound
should be cleaned right away and the injured person taken
to the emergency room for the necessary suturing and wound
Bleeding from a tongue laceration can be reduced by pulling
the tongue forward and using gauze to place pressure on the