Your child may get many cuts and bumps while they’re growing
up, and injuries to their mouth are no exception. Whether from falls, fights, activities
or accidents, your child encounters various experiences that have the potential
to cause damage to their teeth, tongue, cheeks, and gums. What to do about the
injury depends on what happened, and whether the tooth is a primary or
permanent tooth. In all instances, seek medical attention from a doctor or
Your child is weak or numb
A fever develops, or they show other signs of
Your child has trouble breathing or swallowing
Any bleeding doesn’t stop after ten minutes of applying
They experience jaw pain upon opening or closing
An object is stuck inside the tissue of the
There may be a puncture in the back of their
A large or deep cut is inside your child’s mouth
or on their face, or extends past the border of their lips
The tooth is broken, loose, or missing
The injured tooth is experiencing pain,
tenderness, or sensitivity
Below is a guide to the common incidents that occur in
Tears: Occasionally the inside of the mouth,
particularly the cheeks and inside of the lips, may get small tears. These usually
heal on their own. Tears to the flap of skin between the upper lip and gums
will also heal unaided.
Cuts: Large cuts to the tongue may need stitches
to heal properly. Cuts involving the outside of the mouth and extend beyond the
edge of the lips often require stitches.
Punctures: Your child might end up with a
puncture style injury in the back of their throat if they were to trip or bump
something with an object in their mouth such as a pen or toothbrush. If the
puncture is towards the side of the throat, it runs the risk of encountering
To stop the bleeding of minor injuries, press the cheek or
lip against the teeth and hold it for a few minutes. For the tongue, place a
clean cloth or a piece of gauze on the wounded area and apply pressure with
Bumped Teeth: When something hits your child’s
teeth too hard, the tooth may become loose and bleed slightly by the gums. It
will often will tighten up within a few weeks. Exceptionally loose teeth, or
teeth that interfere with your child’s bite should be looked at by a dentist.
The injured tooth may also discolour to a grey or brown, which could
potentially indicate infection. This injury can happen as early as when your
child is crawling.
Breaks: This is the most common tooth injury in
young kids. Your child’s dentist will need to evaluate the break to see what
the treatment plan will be to repair the tooth.
Knocked-Out Teeth: With primary teeth, a knocked-out
tooth is not replaced as it may affect the growth of the permanent tooth. The
dentist will observe the empty space, and decide whether it needs to be maintained
so there is room for the permanent tooth to fit.
Shifted Teeth: A tooth may end up moved from its
original position. The best circumstance is If the tooth angles so the bottom
points towards the inner part of the mouth, as the root will have likely moved forward
with this shift. As most permanent teeth grow and develop behind the root, there
is less chance of the new tooth being affected. If the tooth has been pushed
upwards into the gums and bone, it will likely be left alone to come back into
position on its own. The adult tooth may have experienced damage though. In
either case, the dentist will keep an eye on the injury to see the extent of the
Loose Teeth: If the loose tooth is causing
problems with the way your child closes their mouth, it should be looked at
quickly. The tooth can often be put back into its correct position and held with
stitches or splints if necessary.
Broken Teeth: Breaks are usually repaired
successfully. It is occasionally possible to reattach the tooth fragments if
they are preserved in tap water. Otherwise, the tooth is repaired using a
composite resin matched to the natural colour of the remaining tooth.
Knocked-Out Teeth: A missing permanent tooth is
an emergency that should receive treatment as soon as possible, as the longer
the tooth is out the less likely it will survive. Rinse the tooth and put it
back into the empty socket as soon as possible. Most teeth placed back in the
socket within 5 minutes survive. If you are unable to put it back in the socket,
store the tooth in cold milk, or a cup of the child’s saliva until you can make
it to a dentist.
Monitor your children’s mouths for any signs of cuts, fractures,
or looseness. If your child has experienced a dental injury and needs to be
seen, or you have any questions about our other services, give Family
Dental Care a call at 613-736-5000. Your child’s smile is important to us!