Tooth Injury  

When to Call Your Doctor

Call Your Dentist or Doctor Now (night or day) If
  • You think your child has a serious injury
  • Adult tooth knocked out. (Reason: Needs to be put back within 2 hours to survive) --See FIRST AID.
  • Adult tooth is almost falling out
  • Baby tooth is almost falling out
  • Bleeding won't stop after 10 minutes of direct pressure
  • Tooth is greatly pushed out of its normal place
  • Tooth that's pushed out of its normal place makes it hard to chew
  • Pain is SEVERE and not better 2 hours after taking pain medicine
  • Age less than 1 year old
  • You think your child needs to be seen urgently
Call Your Dentist Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If
  • You think your child needs to be seen, but not urgently
  • Baby tooth knocked out by injury. (Reason: Can't be put back. But, need to check for damage to adult tooth inside the gum.)
  • Tooth is slightly pushed out of its normal place
  • Chip or crack in the tooth
  • Tooth feels very loose when you try to move it
Call Your Dentist During Weekday Office Hours If
  • Cold fluids cause tooth pain
  • Tooth turns a darker color
  • You have other questions or concerns
Parent Care at Home If
  • Minor tooth injury
Causes & Health Information

Types of Tooth Injuries

  • Loosened tooth - May bleed a little from the gums. Usually tightens up on its own.
  • Displaced tooth (usually pushed inward)
  • Chipped or fractured tooth
  • Avulsed (knocked out) tooth - a dental emergency for permanent teeth
CARE ADVICE FOR MINOR DENTAL INJURIES

  1. Cold:
    • For pain, put a piece of ice or a popsicle on the injured gum.
    • Do this for 20 minutes.
  2. Pain Medicine:
    • To help with the pain, give acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen. Use as needed. See Dose Table.
  3. Soft Diet:
    • For any loose teeth, offer a soft diet.
    • Avoid foods that need much chewing.
    • You can go back to a normal diet after 3 days. By then, the tooth should be tightened up.
  4. What to Expect:
    • Tooth pain most often goes away in 2 or 3 days.
  5. Call Your Dentist If:
    • Pain becomes severe
    • Cold fluids cause tooth pain
    • Tooth turns a darker color
    • Your child becomes worse

And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.
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Disclaimer: This information is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.


Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.

Last Reviewed: 9/1/2012

Last Revised: 1/13/2013

Content Set: Child Symptom Checker

Copyright 1994-2012 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.