Facial injuries may occur during an accident, causing mild to severe tooth damage. Dental trauma can arise from tooth decay and gum disease.
Typical dental injuries include:
- Tooth fractures and breaks
- Dental avulsion and extrusion
- Impacted teeth
Tooth fractures may occur due to weakening of the tooth structure, such as from enamel erosion. Dental enamel can become eroded from foods high in sugar and acids, improper teeth brushing, teeth grinding, and over-bleaching. Fractures can also occur as fine splits in the tooth that may be filled with dental composite to restore the tooth.
Certain fractures expose the inner tooth dentin and dental pulp, requiring a dental crown to strengthen tooth structure. Severe fractures or breaks may require dental extraction if the tooth cannot be saved through dental restoration. The missing tooth can be replaced by a bridge or dental-implant supported crown.
Accident or injury
Dental avulsion is a knocked out tooth. Extrusion occurs when the tooth is knocked out of position. The tooth may be entirely or partially knocked out of its socket. By gently pressing the tooth back into the socket while en-route to the dental emergency appointment, the dentist may be able to save it.
Impacted wisdom teeth may misalign neighbouring teeth, requiring extraction of the wisdom teeth and orthodontic care for remaining dentition.
Preventing dental injuries
Advance Dental Clinic in Essex recommends that athletes involved in contact sports wear a mouthguard to protect their teeth from damage. Night guards are often prescribed for those with teeth grinding habits to protect their teeth from weakening or breakage.
Practising regular dental hygiene and attending scheduled six-monthly dental check-ups, including professional teeth cleaning, keeps infection-causing agents at bay and prevents tooth damage.