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Common Tooth Injuries

By Bruce Wilderman on August 10, 2012

Common Tooth InjuriesTooth injuries can range from minor to serious, but in all cases, patients should visit the dentist to treat the problem and ensure that further damage does not occur. Philadelphia cosmetic dentist Bruce Wilderman has experience restoring the health and beauty of injured teeth.  Read on to learn more about the common causes of tooth injuries, as well as the types of injuries that affect patients.

Common Types of Tooth Injuries

Some of the common types of tooth injuries include:

  • Chips:When a portion of the visible tooth breaks off, but the tooth root remains in the socket, the tooth is chipped. For our patients in Philadelphia, porcelain veneers or dental crowns can be used to treat tooth chips, depending on the extent of damage.
  • Fractures:Tooth fractures can affect the enamel, dentin, and pulp layers of the tooth. Minor fractures only involve the enamel layer, while more serious cases can result in an infection of the pulp (pulpitis).
  • Change in color:If the nerve and blood supply to the pulp of the tooth is disrupted, it can cause the affected tooth to change color. The tooth may turn yellow, brown, gray, or pink in color. Endodontic treatment may restore the white color to the tooth, or a dental restoration such as a crown or veneer will need to be placed to mask the discoloration.
  • Knocked out (avulsed):If a tooth's root is displaced from the socket, the tooth may be saved with emergency dental care. If the tooth can't be successfully re-implanted, a dental implant or bridge can be used to replace the tooth.
  • Shifted/loose (dental luxation): If dental trauma forces the tooth out of position, emergency dental care is needed to push the tooth back into proper position and repair any other damage to the tooth and gums.
  • Pushed into the gums (intruded): A tooth can be pushed out of place, and also jammed up into the gums and bone. In these cases, emergency oral surgery is required to reconstruct the mouth.

Common Causes

The common causes of tooth injuries include:

  • Chewing on hard objects: Patients should avoid chewing on certain foods and objects, including ice, hard candies, pencils, pens, and their fingernails, as this can cause enamel erosion, chips, and fractures.
  • Tooth grinding: Tooth grinding, or bruxism, causes enamel wear, gum erosion, chips, and fractures.
  • Sports: Sports, especially contact sports such as football, hockey, and basketball, can result in injuries to the tooth and mouth. Athletes are advised to wear mouth guards when engaged in sporting activities.
  • Falls: Falls can result in serious trauma to the teeth. Whether a patient falls from a great height, or stumbles at ground level, falls can cause a tooth to be knocked out of its socket.
  • Fights: Fights often result in blows to the face; this can result in an avulsed tooth, dental luxation, or an intruded tooth.
  • Auto accidents: Auto accidents can cause serious damage to the teeth and mouth. Patients in auto accidents may require full mouth reconstruction surgery to restore the appearance of the teeth and mouth area.

If you have suffered a tooth injury, contact Masterpiece Smiles to undergo treatment with Dr. Wilderman.

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