Car accidents can wreak havoc on your entire body, including your mouth. It's fairly common for people to experience dental trauma when in a car accident due to hitting their faces on hard parts of the car, like a wheel, dashboard, or the edge of a window. If you've realized that you're missing one or more teeth after the accident, here's what you need to do to ensure your dental health.
Find and Preserve The Tooth
If your tooth came out cleanly, there's a good chance that your dentist can repair the damage and actually put it back where it came from. However, this is only possible if you take steps to preserve the tooth while it's out of your mouth.
Once you've found the tooth or teeth, put them in a small container like a pill bottle and fill it with milk. Milk has a close pH level to the root and pulp of your teeth, which will help to preserve it. Water has a different pH level and can critically damage the living parts of your teeth, rendering it useless, so don't soak or rinse your tooth in water.
If you can't get milk, pharmacies carry solutions specifically meant for saving teeth. Talk to a pharmacist to find out where your store keeps it.
Treating The Wound
If a tooth was knocked out, chances are your gums are damaged as well. While you don't need to do anything to your gums if they feel okay, if they're obviously wounded or bleeding, you can try these tricks for slowing or stopping the bleeding.
If you notice that you're bleeding when you're still with a paramedic, ask if you can have some gauze. This can be stuffed between your two rows of gums to help apply pressure to staunch the wound. If gauze is unavailable or you're already at home, try a black teabag instead. The tannins in the tea will help to slow blood flow, and the teabag itself will soak up blood.
Contact Your Dentist
Lastly, you need to get immediate help from a dentist in order to restore your teeth. If you've been cleared by a paramedic and can go anywhere you like, visit an emergency dentist with your tooth immediately. Your dentist will be able to debride the wound and the tooth and can immediately transplant it back into the place it came from, which will restore normal function to the tooth.
If you've been taken to a hospital, you can still contact a dentist. Your hospital may have a dentist on-site, but most hospitals only keep dentist on-call since they're not frequently needed at hospitals. Your emergency dentist may be able to come to you, given your medical situation. Explain what happened, where you are, and that you have a tooth you're attempting to preserve.
Having a tooth fall out is never fun, and it's worse when it's in something as traumatic as a car accident. If you're worried about losing your teeth or needing an implant to replace it, don't give up on your existing tooth just yet. With these steps, you can save your tooth and prevent unnecessary procedures in the future.
For more information, contact your local dental emergency clinic.