Any injury involves some level of trauma. When it comes to your face and mouth, however, it’s different. Dental trauma (or facial trauma) can be anything from a tooth fracture or broken tooth to teeth that are completely knocked out of the mouth. Athletes and people in the military tend to be at the highest risk for facial trauma. Although car wrecks and high-risk employment can often lead to dental trauma to the facial area.
Watch how one patient recovered from facial trauma with Dr. Lebowitz’s help:
Often, a trip to the emergency room is required for facial trauma and there is a lot of pain. But there are certain ways to treat (and even prevent) facial trauma so you have as little pain and/or problems as possible.
Treating Facial Trauma
Facial trauma can be the result of a one-time event like an accident, or could develop over time from something like a cavity. Either way, if your tooth is fractured, broken or lost, it’s important to act quickly. Here are some steps you should take when dealing with facial trauma:
1. Determine whether you or the person with facial trauma is light-headed, dizzy or unconscious. This may mean the injury is more severe and you should call 911 immediately.
2. Identify the type of facial trauma.
3. For lost teeth, rinse them with water and immediately re-plant them in their original socket by holding them in place until you get to the dentist or emergency room.
The general consensus is that you have 40 minutes or less to successfully re-plant a healthy permanent tooth. But the best way to treat facial trauma is to prevent it completely.
Preventing Facial Trauma
As mentioned before, sports are the riskiest area for facial trauma. That’s why organizations like the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) urge athletes to “always wear protective head gear for sports.” This includes helmets, masks, mouthguards and more. The latter is actually very easy for Dr. Lebowitz to customize so you get the best protection.
Automobile accidents are another risky area, so preventing facial trauma should be another reason you always wear your seatbelt. Finally, maintaining proper hygiene and avoiding chewing hard objects will help your teeth stay strong and reduce the risk of tooth fractures.
Knowing how to treat and prevent facial trauma is invaluable. If you have any additional questions about dental trauma, schedule a consultation with Dr. Lebowitz today!