Traumatic Injury to Lips, Teeth

Traumatic Injury to Lips, Teeth

A traumatic injury – an accident where the lips, jaws, or teeth are hit – is very disconcerting to both the one injured and the ones who take care of that person.

If there is significant facial injury such as torn and bleeding skin or lips, obvious deformities of bone structure, or deviated jaw the best place to take the injury is the emergency room. This even more important if the patient has other injuries, has difficulty breathing, or is disoriented and having difficulty speaking or thinking.

If there are no serious injuries other than to the lips and teeth – such as a bruised and swollen lip, a fractured or loose front teeth, a dentist may be called. Chipped teeth can be temporarily bonded, and loose teeth sometimes can be splinted together to decrease mobility, or positioned if they have been knocked out of their usual place.

The first aid measure for such an injury is cold compresses to swollen tissue for 20 minutes on, then off for 20 minutes. This cycle should be repeated several times.

Rarely, a tooth gets bumped and comes out in one piece, root and all. If this is a permanent tooth, it is important to save the tooth and bring it in immediately to the dentist as sometimes these teeth can be placed back in the socket and stabilized. Keep the tooth in milk if possible to help the live cells on the root to survive while you bring it to the dental office. Baby teeth rarely are reimplanted, but if in doubt bring it to the office in some milk just in case it is a permanent tooth.