Your teeth are the strongest substance in your body. Despite their strength, they can still be faced with trauma. Dental trauma is a term that refers to issues and injuries that affect your teeth and surrounding tissues. You can suffer dental trauma as a result of several issues, including sports injuries, car accidents, falls, and more. When dental trauma occurs, it is important that you get dental care right away. Carolina Mountain Endodontics can help.
Cracks in teeth vary. Some are minor, while others can pose serious issues. Cracks are often the result of an abrupt blow to the face or because you have bitten down on something too hard. No matter how small the crack, it can significantly impact the quality of your smile. More significant cracks can compromise the structural integrity of the tooth and leave it vulnerable to infections. Even small cracks that do not seem all that serious when first inflicted can worsen over time. Cracks that extend past the enamel and into the inner layers of the teeth can let bacteria inside the tooth, resulting in a painful and dangerous infection. Crowns are one of the most common treatments for cracked teeth. They are a restorative treatment that uses cap-like restorations to cover the affected teeth. A crown encases the entire visible surface of a damaged tooth, working to hold it together, provide it with protection, and restore its strength. If the damage is significant, however, the tooth may need to be extracted and then replaced.
Root fractures are cracks that occur below the gumline, in the root of the tooth. It is possible for a root fracture to occur completely below the gumline, invisible to the naked eye. You might never even know that you have a root fracture until an infection begins to develop, which makes a dental exam following dental trauma crucial. Untreated tooth infections can lead to the formation of an abscess. This is a sac that forms to contain bacteria as it spills out through the root of the tooth and into the jawbone. Abscesses can grow larger over time and can even rupture, seriously compromising your oral and overall health.
A displaced tooth is one that has either been pushed deeper into the jawbone, or that has been partially knocked out of its socket. In either case, the tooth can generally be reset properly into the socket. It is important that you do not attempt to do this on your own. We can reset the tooth and secure it with a splint. This helps to hold the tooth in its proper position while your periodontal ligament and jawbone heal around it.
An avulsed tooth is one that has been completely knocked out of its socket. In many cases, the tooth can be replanted. If you have lost a tooth due to dental trauma, it is important that you find it. Make sure that the tooth is not damaged. Clean the tooth under cool running water. Only handle it by the crown. Avoid touching the root end. Store the cleaned tooth in a container of milk or saltwater, which will help to preserve it until your appointment. In many cases, we can replant the tooth and secure it with a splint while the periodontal ligament and bone heal around it. If the tooth cannot be replanted, we can provide you with a replacement.
No matter how dental trauma occurs, or how minor you think it is at the time, it is important to seek dental care right away. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, contact Carolina Mountain Endodontics today at (828) 627-1999.