Knocked Out Teeth - What To Do?

By now, we have all seen the gruesome clip of West Coast Eagles midfielder Elliot Yeo losing his two front teeth in a heavy collision with Collingwood’s Jarrod Witt in the AFL this weekend.

If you haven’t already, take a look but be warned it isn’t pretty to watch.

Contact sport is the main cause of dental issues such as teeth being knocked out or snapped but this type of incident can also happen from falls around the home or workplace and it is best to know what to do if this unlikely scenario is to occur.

Firstly, if you are playing a contact sport, prevention is better than cure. Wear a gum guard! The images above should be enough to convince anyone that the simple bit of plastic, no matter how uncomfortable, does a better job at protecting your gnashers than you think!

For teeth to be knocked out, there is normally a serious head injury that goes with it. A head injury is always priority one and if the accident victim shows any signs of concussion - loss of consciousness, dizziness, confusion etc - this should be dealt with first.

If an accident does occur, locate the teeth as quickly as possible and always pick up the tooth by the enamel (the bit you can see when you smile) rather than the root (the section that anchors the tooth to the gum).

If the tooth is dirty, clean it using either water or milk and try to remain calm. Time is a key factor when teeth are to be reimplanted as the tooth begins to deteriorate within an hour of leaving the mouth.

Do not store the tooth in water as this damages the root cells of the tooth, use milk or a salt solution if available as it helps keep the tooth as clean and fresh as possible. This will sound gross but, if worst comes to worst, store the teeth in your mouth between your cheek and gum as the saliva will keep the teeth healthy.

Once you have the teeth have been cleaned, you can try reimplantation yourself or head straight to the nearest dentist as soon as possible.

To reimplant yourself, make sure the tooth is clean and clean the mouth with warm water. Try and deal with swelling using a cold compress or ice-lolly. Place the tooth in the socket it came from and ask the injured person to bite down on gauze to secure the tooth.

This is obviously a big ask for a first aid novice and a trip to the dentist may be the best bet. Make sure you keep the tooth or teeth in milk for the duration of the journey. Even if you have successfully reimplanted the tooth, a trip to the dentist or emergency room sooner rather than later is still an advisable course of action.

For broken or chipped teeth, head to your local dentist and remember to store the teeth correctly and get there within the hour if possible.

It is an injury that often looks worse than it is but it is important to keep a cool head and follow these simple instructions and hopefully, your smile will be more pearly whites and less pirates grin!

For more infomation on treatment and procedures, book a First Aid course with us at TCP Training or head to these websites - http://www.sportsdentistry.com/tooth.html and www.webmd.com/first-aid/broken-or-knocked-out-teeth-treatment

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