Injuries to the Teeth

dental-injuryWhere a dental injury is sustained, professional dental advice should be sought immediately.  If a permanent tooth is knocked out,

  1. Find the tooth and hold it by the crown and not the root. The crown is the shiny white part of the tooth normally seen in the mouth.
  2. If it has dirt on it rinse it briefly (10 seconds) under cold running water.
  3. Try to place it back in the socket ensuring it is the right way round. The neighbouring teeth can provide a guide. The tooth should ideally be replaced within 5 – 10 minutes. This is to prevent the cells on the root that re-attach to the gum from dying.
  4. Hold the tooth in place by biting on a soft cloth. Alternatively place aluminium foil over the tooth and the teeth either side to stabilise the tooth.
  5. If you are unable to replace the tooth in the socket keep it damp by storing it in a cup of milk or saline or placing it in the conscious patient’s mouth beside the cheek. Don’t store the tooth in water and do not let the tooth become dry.
  6. Contact the dentist immediately because the longer the tooth is out, the less likely replacement will be successful.

If you cannot find the tooth, it may be that it has been swallowed or gone into the lungs. Visit the hospital if there is a chance of this. If the person cannot breathe properly, call 999.

If a baby tooth is knocked out no treatment is necessary. If there are any other injuries, see a dentist or go to the hospital.

Moved tooth

The tooth may not be knocked out but may be fractured or moved out of line. In this case consult a dentist immediately.

Broken Tooth

If a tooth is chipped or broken, you should have it repaired as soon as possible.

Broken Jaw

If you think someone has broken their jaw,

  • Do not move the jaw.
  • Tie something round the jaw and over the top of the head to hold it in place.
  • Hold something cold against the jaw to stop swelling.
  • Go to the accident and emergency department of the hospital.

Last updated: March 12, 2014

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