Post Dental Emergency Instructions
Please keep the traumatized area as-clean-as possible. A soft wash cloth often works well during healing to aid the process. It is important to keep any mouth injury relatively clean and free from plaque and bacteria accumulation. Therefore, routine and normal tooth brushing is indicated as tolerated.
Watch for darkening of traumatized baby teeth. It is highly anticipated that there will be a color
change in any “Baby Tooth” that receives dental trauma which is due to internal bleeding inside the
tooth. Because color changes in a traumatized “Baby Tooth” are expected, you should only become concerned if the tooth turns dark purple or dark blue. This could be an indication of a dying nerve (pulp). If the tooth turns yellow or brown or even grey, chances are that the tooth is injured BUT NOT enough to be alarmed or even warrant additional treatment. An exam and possible x-ray may be necessary to rule out an infection or dying tooth.
However, as mentioned above, a tooth that turns dark blue or dark purple and stays that color for 4 –8 weeks is most likely a dying tooth. The options for treatment are to 1) extract the tooth or 2) not treat and continue to monitor the tooth which will most likely result in a dental abscess that will require a future extraction.
If a traumatized adult tooth discolors, it may need a root canal in the future. Most of the time, if the
tooth requires a root canal, the tooth will start to ache and your child is likely to let you know. At that
point it is important to consult with the dentist for an evaluation of that tooth’s health and long term
Swelling is a normal part of the healing process following dental trauma. Ice should be administered
during the first 24 hours to keep the swelling to a minimum. It may be impossible to persuade your
child to accept icing (10 minutes on and 10 minutes off) so using ice chips and popsicles may be the next best alternative.Bleeding is a normal part of the healing process following dental trauma. If unusual or prolonged bleeding occurs, place cotton gauze gently over the traumatized area and hold in place for 10-15 minutes.
Pain is a normal part of the healing process following dental trauma. Pain is best managed with
Acetaminophen/Ibuprofen. Always follow the manufacture’s guidelines for dosage and never take any
medication that your child may be allergic to. If pain can not be managed with over the counter meds then contact our office and speak to Dr.Shaughnessy.
Also, while not being alarmed, be on the watch for infection (gum boils) in the area of trauma. If
infection is noticed - call the office so the patient can be seen as-soon-as possible.
Maintain a soft diet for 2-3 days, or until the child feels comfortable eating normally again. Avoid sweets or foods that are extremely hot or cold and especially those foods that are spicy. Also
consider cutting food into small pieces to avoid having to over chew.
Please do not hesitate to call the office if there are ever any questions.
For more information please visit: http://www.dentaltraumaguide.org