How To Take Care of Yourself After a Dental Injury and Prevent Complications

Dental injury complications

Dental injuries occur more frequently than you might realize. According to the World Health Organization, about 20% of people will experience dental trauma at some point in their lives. And though getting any dental injury addressed promptly is vital, it is just as important to take care of yourself after a dental injury as dental injury complications can still arise after dental treatment. Read on to understand what you need to know about dental injuries and how to care for yourself after treatment.

Avoid dental injury complications by taking care of yourself right.

Though nearly half of dental injuries are sports-related, there are other causes also. The four primary causes of dental injuries are:

  • Falling over and hitting your mouth on something hard
  • Being hit in the face intentionally or accidentally
  • Experiencing a sports-related accident or sports injury
  • Eating something hard such as a hard candy, popcorn seeds, cherry pits, or ice

There are various types of dental injuries too. The most common dental injuries include:

  • Cracked teeth
  • Knocked-out tooth
  • Fractured roots
  • Tooth intrusion

Though a mouthguard can help prevent the injuries mentioned above, we know that accidents do happen. And when a dental injury occurs, the first step is knowing what to do next.

Take these steps to avoid dental injury complications.

A dental injury, particularly one of the dental injuries mentioned above, is not to be ignored. Quick medical and dental treatment is essential to help protect your smile and your oral health. If you or a loved one has experienced a dental injury, be sure to follow the advice below.

1. Seek emergency dental care.

Emergency dental care exists for a reason, and one of the key reasons is dental trauma. Though your dentist’s office might not be open right when your injury occurred, their voicemail or answering service will usually provide instructions on who to call or where to go.

2. Follow care instructions from your dentist.

After you have received emergency dental treatment, you should follow all aftercare instructions as advised. In most cases, your dentist will recommend some or all of the following.

  • Icing the affected area periodically for the next 24 to 48 hours. Your dentist may also recommend that you pack a moistened black tea bag into your mouth next to the affected area for 15 minutes a few times a day. (Black tea is full of tannins, which can help stop bleeding.)
  • Keeping the traumatized area as clean as possible.
  • Gently brushing your teeth or gums with a soft-bristled toothbrush or soft washcloth after meals.
  • Sticking to a soft diet until you feel ready to consume normal foods again (or until your dentist advises you that it is permissible for you to do so).
  • Avoiding sweets or foods that are exceptionally hot or cold for the next several days.

3. Don’t skip out on your follow-up care.

After experiencing dental trauma, you’re at high risk for developing an oral infection. You must follow up with all your appointments so your dentist can ensure things are progressing as expected. 

While it may seem like an inconvenience now, trust us that this minor convenience in the short term is nothing compared to the significant and longer term inconveniences (and costs) you will experience if you develop a serious oral infection.

4. Be aware of dental injury complications.

Even if you seek prompt medical attention after experiencing a dental trauma, dental injury complications can and do occur. The most frequent complications are pulp necrosis, periapical periodontitis, abscess formation, inflammatory root resorption, and pulp canal obliteration. 

Some signs to look for include swelling beyond the initial post-treatment period, a bad taste in your mouth, sharp pain, pus in your mouth, and fever. These complications may occur soon after the dental trauma or even several years later. 

5. Ask questions.

Do not hesitate to ask questions or share concerns about your dental trauma treatment or dental injury complications. The more information you have about what to expect, the better care you can provide yourself after treatment. Be sure to also find the right dentist for your dental trauma treatment and post-trauma care. In many trauma situations, patients need to get teeth replaced or even require a full mouth restoration

If you live or work in the Washington D.C. area, you should know that Dr. Enjati is both skilled and experienced in cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry. He uses the latest technology and techniques available to treat your dental injury.

Have you experienced dental injury complications?

If you are experiencing dental injury complications or you need full mouth restoration or dental implants in Washington, D.C., now is the time to reach out to your favorite dentist office in Friendship Heights. 

MASC Dental Studio provides expert dental care in a relaxing environment and can help care for you after your dental trauma experience. Request an appointment today. We’re here for you and look forward to hearing from you!