A dental emergency can occur while you eat, play, work out, or take part in any number of normal daily tasks. “Soft tissue laceration” is dental trauma that includes harm to your lips, gums, tongue, or cheeks. The soft tissues in the mouth are delicate, sensitive and easily hurt. They also contain a lot of nerves. When they are hurt, it can be very painful.
In addition to cuts, injuries can occur to the roof of the mouth, the back of the throat, or to a tonsil. These types of wound can happen when someone falls with a pointed object – such as a Popsicle stick or pencil – in their mouth. Kids are most at risk for this type of wound.
Due to all the blood vessels in the head and neck area, even a small puncture in the mouth may lead to alot of blood loss.
Treating Soft Tissue Lacerations
Small mouth injuries may be treated at home. Clean them right away with warm water. As with all soft tissue wounds, the key points to keep in mind are to decrease the flow of blood, reduce pain, promote healing, and prevent infection.
A soft tissue laceration, including injury to the mouth or lips that results in a loose flap of tissue or an open wound, may require stitches. Some patients choose to have a small wound on the lips stitched for cosmetic reasons. A tear in the frenulum (the skin under the tongue between the lips and gums) most often heals on its own and does not need stitches.If a foreign object, such as a bit of tooth or a wire from braces, is stuck in a wound, a doctor may need to remove it.
Preventing Soft Tissue Lacerations
The best way to avoid dental and soft tissue injuries is to wear a mouth guard for all rough play. A mouth guard should be worn at all times for team sports or sports where there is frequent contact with others or with hard objects.
Mouth guards protect the soft tissue in your mouth from your teeth. This is very important if you wear braces on your teeth. A mouth guard may even help to prevent or reduce or severity of concussions. You need to seek emergency dental care if the injury is serious or if the bleeding doesn’t stop after 10 to 15 minutes. The dentist will wash the area, remove any dirt or debris, and see if your teeth are loose or damaged. Stitches might be needed to close the wound.
Oral piercings, usually in the tongue or around the lips have quickly become a popular trend in today’s society. With this popular trend, it is important to realize that sometimes even precautions taken during the installation of the piercing jewelry are not enough to prevent harmful, long-term consequences such as cracked or chipped teeth, swelling, problems with swallowing and taste, and scars. There is also a possibility of choking on a piece of dislodged jewelry, which makes it important to ask if the risks are warranted.
One of the most serious long-term health problems that may occur from oral piercings come in the form of damage to the soft tissues such as the cheeks, gums and palate, as well as some kind of infections. When performed in an unsterile environment, any kind of body piercing may also put you at risk of contracting deadly infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. A tongue piercing is a common form of body piercing. However, tongue piercings have been known to cause blocked airways (from a swollen tongue). In some cases, a tongue piercing can cause uncontrolled bleeding.
People with oral piercings — especially long-stem tongue jewelry – have a greater risk of gum disease than those without oral piercings. The jewelry can come into contact with gum tissue causing injury as well as a recession of the gum tissue, which can lead to loose teeth and tooth loss.
Caring for your Oral Piercing
Avoid alcohol, spicy foods, and hard and sticky foods.
Don’t smoke or use tobacco-based products.
Eat soft foods. Consult with your dentist about taking vitamins to promote faster healing.
If you notice any warning signs such as scarring, increased redness or pain at piercing site, bleeding or tearing after initial healing, yellow or green discharge from piercing site etc, contact a health care professional.
Cavities, also known as tooth decay, occur when plaque, the sticky substance that forms on teeth, combines with the sugars and / or starches of the foods that we eat. This combination produces acids that attack tooth enamel.
Follow these dental hygiene practices to prevent cavities:
Brush your teeth – In the fight against cavities, it is essential that you brush your teeth properly at least twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride.
Floss daily – Food debris gets caught in between our teeth when we eat. If the debris is not removed, it can lead to cavities. Flossing every day is the best way to remove food debris from in between the teeth.
Eat healthy – Proper nutrition plays an important role in good dental health. Eating nutritional snacks and limiting the amount of sugar intake will help to prevent plaque from forming on the teeth.
Have sealants placed – Dental sealants are a protective coating that is applied to the biting surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant protects the tooth from getting a cavity by shielding against bacteria and plaque. Sealants are more common in children because of the new growth of permanent teeth; however, sealants can benefit adults too.
Use a mouthwash – There are several antimicrobial mouthwashes on the market that have been clinically proven to reduce plaque. Rinsing with one of these mouthwashes after brushing or eating can aid in cavity prevention.
Chew sugarless gum – Believe it or not, chewing certain sugarless gums can actually help to prevent cavities by increasing the flow of saliva in your mouth.
It is especially important to keep an eye on how often your child eats as well as what he/she eats. You should limit between-meal snacks to reduce the number of acid attacks on teeth and to give teeth a chance to repair themselves. Limit their intake of candies, cookies, soda and other sugary drinks. Make sure your child doesn’t eat or drink anything with sugar after bedtime tooth brushing. Don’t forget to supervise young children when they brush. Since most cavities in children and adolescents develop in the molars, it’s best to get these teeth sealed as soon as they come in.
Braces, wires, springs, rubber bands, and other appliances can attract food and plaque, which can stain teeth if not brushed away. Food can also react with the bacteria in your mouth and the metal in the braces to produce a bleaching effect, which can cause small, permanent light spots on the teeth. It is recommended brushing after every meal or snack with fluoride toothpaste and carefully removing any food that may have gotten stuck in your braces. You may also be prescribed or recommended a fluoride mouthwash, which can get into places in the mouth that a toothbrush can’t reach.
Brush your teeth with specially designed brush for cleaning between braces.
Foods to Avoid While Wearing Braces
There are certain foods that can break or loosen your braces and should be avoided, such as:
Hard or tough-to-bite foods, such as apples or bagels
Chewy foods, such as taffy or caramels
Corn on the cob
Hard pretzels, popcorn, nuts and carrots
In addition to foods, do not chew ice or bubble gum.
Caring for Retainers
Every time you brush your teeth, brush your retainer as well. Once a day or at least once a week, disinfect your retainer by soaking it in a denture cleanser.
While playing sports, use mouth guard, designed to fit comfortably over your braces.
Broken braces, loose bands or protruding wires can cause problems but rarely require emergency treatment. However, call your dentist or orthodontist to set up an office visit to fix the problem. If you suffer a more severe mouth or facial injury, seek immediate help.
Because braces brush up against the inside surface of your mouth, you may be prone to developing sores. If a sore develops, your orthodontist or dentist may prescribe an ointment or a prescription or nonprescription pain-reliever solution to reduce the pain and irritation and help heal the sore.
Fillings are materials used to fill cavities in the teeth. Sometimes fillings fall out. In some cases, a filling may come loose because there is decay underneath it. The decay destroys part of the tooth, so it no longer has a tight hold on the filling.
If you realize your filling has come out when it has happened and you haven’t already swallowed it, you should remove it from your mouth to prevent yourself from swallowing it.
You should call your dentist as soon as you lose your filling to schedule an appointment as soon as possible to replace the filling or perform whatever treatment is necessary.
If you are not able to get to your dentist that day to have it refilled, you will need to keep that area of your tooth really clean. The cavity that was filled is now exposed again and could worsen or feel really sensitive. Brush your teeth carefully making sure to remove any food debris from the cavity so that harmful bacteria do not accumulate.
Your tooth may be sensitive after you lose your filing. This may be caused by exposed dentin tubules, which are tiny pathways of communication between the dentin and the pulp of your tooth. The dentin tubules provide a direct pathway from the inside of your mouth to your tooth. If you do feel pain, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
Make sure you get an appointment to see your Dentist