Your Family Dentist's Guide to Spotting Dental Emergencies in Children

Posted on: 17 December 2018


When you're caring for children who love to run and jump, you're likely aware of the risks that come with falling. Although most kids instinctively know how to shield themselves, on some occasions they may fall and injure their mouths. Injuries aside, most family dentists will agree that dental emergencies can look different in children. Here are some ways to spot key signs:

An entire tooth is missing

Although it may sound as though spotting an entire missing tooth is an obvious task, the amount of bleeding that takes place after such an injury can make this difficult. Like adults, children have a rich blood supply to their head, which means they can sometimes bleed in a way that's disproportionate to the injury. As a result, you should try not to be alarmed if your child falls over and there's a lot of blood. Calm your child and ask them to rinse the blood away, then check inside their mouth once you're able to do so. If you see that an entire baby or adult tooth is missing, seek emergency dental treatment. Your dentist may advise you to gently place the child's tooth back in their mouth to increase the chances of reattaching it. However, they may also recommend leaving the baby tooth out altogether.

There are signs that they have a broken jaw

If your child falls directly onto their face without trying to land on their hands, they may break their jaw. The younger a child is, the less likely this is to happen, as their bones are still forming and remain bendy. However, you should look for the following signs:

  • They say their teeth aren't fitting together when they bite down
  • There's bruising along the gums
  • Swelling and bruising along the jaw
  • Difficulty opening the mouth

If you notice any of these signs, call your family dentist for an emergency dental treatment immediately.

Gum irritation following DIY tooth whitening

In most cases, off-the-shelf teeth whitening kits won't cause a lot of harm. However, if you have a teenager who has overused theirs or has somehow acquired a stronger solution, they could encounter gum burns. Depending on the severity of their pain or how deep you feel the burns look, you may be able to wait to see your family dentist. If you're ever unsure, though, edge towards being cautious and call an emergency dentist instead. And, advise your teen that they should use professional tooth whitening in the future.

When you respond to dental emergencies in children quickly, you minimise the risk of harm.