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Tooth Injury

Brief Version

What is a tooth injury?

  • Often, the only noticeable injury to the teeth is bleeding from the gums. Usually this is because a tooth has been jarred and slightly loosened. These minor injuries heal in 3 days.
  • The next most common injury is when a tooth is pushed out of place (usually pushed inward). These may need repositioning and stabilizing by a dentist.
  • Chipped (or fractured) teeth need to be seen by a dentist.
  • Permanent teeth that are knocked out need to be put back in within 30 minutes by a dentist. Baby teeth that are knocked out can't be put back in. The tooth under the baby tooth also needs to be checked for damage.

How can I take care of my child?

Put a piece of ice or a Popsicle on the injured gum area unless it increases the pain. If it still hurts, give your child some acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil). If any teeth are loose, give your child soft foods for 3 days.

Call your child's dentist right away if:

  • A large piece of tooth has been chipped off.
  • A red dot is visible inside a fracture.
  • A tooth is severely pushed out of its normal position.

Call your child's dentist during office hours if:

  • A small piece of tooth has been chipped off.
  • A tooth is slightly pushed out of its normal position.
  • The tooth is sensitive to cold fluids.
  • You have other concerns or questions.
Written by B.D. Schmitt, M.D., author of "Your Child's Health," Bantam Books.
Published by McKesson Provider Technologies.
Last modified: 2002-03-21
Last reviewed: 2006-03-02
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright 2006 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved.
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