Mouth and Dental Injuries
Reference Mouth Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window injuries are common, especially in children, and may involve the teeth, jaw, lips, tongue, inner cheeks, gums, roof of the mouth (hard or soft palates), neck, or Reference tonsils Opens New Window. Sometimes mouth injuries look worse than they are. Even a small cut or puncture inside the mouth may bleed a lot because there are many blood vessels in the head and neck area. Home treatment of minor mouth injuries can help stop bleeding, reduce pain, help healing, and prevent infection.
Reference Teeth Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window may be injured during a fall or a sport activity. A tooth may be knocked out (avulsed). You may be able to replace a permanent tooth in its socket (reimplant) if it has been knocked out or torn away from the socket. Immediate Reference first aid and dental care are needed when a permanent tooth has been knocked out.
An injury could Reference crack, Reference chip, or break a tooth, or make a tooth Reference change color. A tooth also may be loose or moved in position (dental luxation) or jammed into the gum (intruded).
Other dental injuries may be caused by Reference grinding your teeth, especially at night. Your teeth may hurt, chip, or become loose. Biting surfaces may become flat and worn down. A Reference broken or loose dental appliance or an orthodontic wire or bracket may poke or rub the inside of your mouth and make your mouth sore.
An injury to your mouth or lips may cause a large, loose flap of tissue or a gaping wound that may need stitches. A smaller wound on the lip may be stitched for cosmetic reasons. If an object, such as a piece of broken tooth or an orthodontic wire, gets stuck in a wound, you may need to have it removed by a doctor. You can also have problems from a Reference piercing in the mouth.
The piece of skin between your lips and gums or under your tongue (Reference frenulum Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window) may tear or rip. Usually this type of injury will heal without stitches. It is generally not a concern unless the tear was caused by physical or sexual Reference abuse.
An injury to the roof of your mouth, the back of your throat, or a tonsil can injure deeper tissues in your head or neck. These injuries can happen when a child falls with a pointed object, such as a pencil or Popsicle stick, in his or her mouth.
Reference Check your symptoms to decide if and when you should see a doctor.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference July 20, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Reference David Messenger, MD