Oral Injuries

Dentist in Warren, NJ

Oral Injuries

Traumatic  oral injuries can range from dental injuries to the teeth and their  supporting tissues to lacerations in and around the mouth as well as  more complex and severe damage to the soft tissues and bones of the  face. These injuries are often caused by direct physical trauma to the  teeth, mouth and face that may be the result of a fall, sports or work  related incidents, motor vehicle accidents or assaults.

Chipped, Fractured or Cracked Teeth

It is not  uncommon for a tooth to sustain a chip, crack or fracture. It may happen  simply from biting down on a piece of ice, chewing on a pencil, or  sustaining trauma such as a direct blow to the face and mouth. The  damage to a tooth can range from a minor craze line or a small chip of  the dental enamel to a more extensive fracture of the tooth that can  even go so far as to fracture the root or split the tooth. Based upon  the extent of damage to the fractured or cracked tooth, treatment may  simply involve placing a suitable restoration such as a filling or crown or a root canal procedure along with a restoration. When the damage is extensive, an extraction is sometimes required.

Dentoalveolar Injury

Dentoalveolar  injuries refer to traumatic injuries involving the teeth and the bone  surrounding the teeth. These injuries can include teeth that have been  dislodged or moved partially out of their sockets, with or without a  segment of the adjacent bone, or an avulsion, which means that a tooth  has been completely “knocked out” of its socket. In these situations,  immediate dental care to reposition and stabilize the involved teeth  and/or put the bone back into the correct anatomical positions is  required. Beyond the routine post op care to check for tissue healing,  the involved teeth are typically followed for a longer period of time to  check for subsequent nerve involvement or other issues that may require  additional care.

Soft Tissue Dental Injuries

Soft tissue  injuries in and around the oral cavity include lacerations within the  mouth (intra-oral) and facial lacerations. If possible clean the area  gently with water and apply a cold compress. For puncture wounds, tissue  tears, and lacerations to the lips, cheeks, tongue or any other tissues  in and around the oral cavity, prompt emergency care is required.

Dislocated or Fractured Jaw

Facial trauma  that has resulted in a suspected dislocation or jaw fracture requires  immediate care as problems with eating and breathing can ensue. Prompt  care can minimize complications and accelerate healing. For a fractured  jaw, treatment depends upon the extent of the injuries. While some clean  breaks may only require immobilization, multiple fractures of the  jawbone or displaced breaks involve more complex surgical care. If on  the other hand the jaw has been dislocated as a result of a traumatic  incident or opening the mouth too widely, it will need to be manipulated  back into the correct position. For people who have had more than one  dislocation, surgery may be needed to reduce the risk of further  dislocations.

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