Sports injuries due to falls and knock outs during play are highly prevalent in children aged 2-7 years of age. Children feel pleasure while playing with their age fellows and agility makes them do things out of their reach. They do not fear of climbing the stairs or jumping from height. Children must remain aware of their child’s whereabouts and sports activities in order to prevent harmful consequences of accidents. Some parents think it harmless if their child gets a broken or lost milk tooth owing to fall or trauma in the playground. Milk teeth if lost before their normal age of exfoliation can have adverse effects on the developing permanent teeth underneath and the development of socket bone. Furthermore, it causes loss of space due to subsequent movement or drifting of adjacent neighboring teeth and supra-eruption of opposing teeth.
Prevention of sports dental injury by wearing mouth guards is warranted whenever required. In case of severe blow or trauma to your child’s teeth, it is necessary to visit the dental health care professionals for consultation and assessment of the extent and severity of injury. Pediatric dental care is essential for better prognosis in case of injury to both primary as well as permanent teeth. Permanent teeth require longer follow up and any damage to pulp tissue is dealt with. The primary aim of management for trauma to permanent teeth is saving the vitality of pulp tissue through apexogenesis or revascularization. These latest state of the art pulp therapy procedures are only successful if parents act quickly and bring the child to the specialist pediatric care facilities.
Spring has sprung and we are on our way to summer! It is the time of the year when our children spend hours of their day outdoors: at the playground, the swing set in the backyard, biking and playing sports. It is also the time of the year when dentists begin to see an uptick of emergency visits to the office for children who have sustained dental injuries while enjoying one of the aforementioned outdoor activities. No matter what caused the injury, if bleeding or bruising occurred in the mouth or on the lip, chances are that the force of the injury was strong enough to impact the teeth. If such an injury was sustained, your child should be seen by a dentist soon after. There are many different types of dental trauma, and the dentist will evaluate the face and jaw, determine the extent of the injury and advise the appropriate action.
When a child with primary teeth sustains a dental injury, the important thing to consider is not only the damage to the primary tooth, but to the permanent tooth forming directly behind the root of that tooth. When a child falls face-forward or gets hit in the mouth with an object, a tooth may be hit hard and injured, but not show any external injury. This sort of injury can cause damage to the blood vessels supplying that tooth, or to the surrounding ligament. In such a case, the tooth may feel a little loose, and may discolor immediately or even weeks later. This tooth may recover and last until it is naturally lost, or may need nerve treatment later on. Discoloration may be gray or brown in color, and does not necessitate the extraction of that tooth. Your dentist will take an x-ray of the tooth and likely monitor the tooth for any signs of infection.
The main difference between accidents involving primary teeth and permanent teeth is the long-term follow-up care. A permanent tooth that has been hurt in any serious way has to be monitored for signs that a root canal is required. This is most often the outcome when a permanent tooth is hit hard enough so that it moves in any direction in the socket, is significantly fractured or if it is completely knocked out. It is important to remember that a permanent tooth that has been knocked out can be replaced into the socket, providing it is done within a short time after the accident (a dentist should ideally be seen within an hour of such an accident). Until seeing the dentist, keep an ice pack on the area to reduce swelling, and the tooth should be kept immersed in a cup of milk or saline, not water. If a tooth is fractured and the pieces of the broken part are found, those pieces should be brought to the dentist as well in a cup of milk or saline. If after an accident the adult tooth is loose, the dentist will likely place a wire splint on the tooth and advise a soft diet for two weeks. If the tooth was displaced as a result of the accident, the dentist will reposition it to the correct spot, place a wire splint and recommend the same dietary restrictions.