Kids are high-energy and accidents happen. In between running around the house, playing outside, land earning to ride a bike, our kids are bumping into things, tripping over things, and falling. When that fall results in a chipped tooth, don't panic. Chipped teeth are very common and although they can usually be fixed by your dentist, there are dental complications you should be aware of.
Visit the Dentist
However bad the chip may be, you want to schedule an appointment with your child's dentist to evaluate the tooth and determine the severity of the damage. Some chips are superficial and require no treatment while others may need to be filed down, filled or even capped if the damage broke past the enamel layer. The sooner you see the dentist, the better.
Almost exactly like the bruising of your skin, the blunt force to the tooth could result in temporary tooth discoloration caused by breaking blood vessels. The tooth may look brown, black, red or grey (like a bruise) and should heal. If you notice that your child's tooth is not returning to its normal color, the tooth may be damaged beyond repair and you need to contact your child's dentist.
Be Diligent About Cleaning Your Child's Teeth
You need to make sure the area surrounding the chipped tooth is properly cleaned and brushed at least twice a day. If you have a toddler, brush their teeth for them to ensure proper cleaning. The incident may not have caused permanent damage, but it has temporarily weakened this area of the mouth making it more likely for decay to occur here.
Signs of an Abscess
In some cases, the injury to the tooth may be too great and over a period of several months, the tooth may die without signs of discoloration. Knowing the signs of an abscess will help you catch the condition early. If left untreated, an abscess can spread to other body tissues and cause brain damage or blindness.
- Complaints of face pain – especially when dealing with a toddler, the may have trouble knowing exactly where it hurts. If you child is consistently complaining of face pain, look closely at the gum line near the injured tooth for redness or pus.
- Relentless swelling
- Unexplained mouth bleeding
- Changes in eating habits – as the tooth become more uncomfortable, your child will avoid contact with it. Watch how they are chewing their food and notice if they are avoiding hot or cold foods.
- Disrupted sleep
If you notice the signs of an abscess, seek emergency medical/dental treatment for your child.