Kid’s Mouth and Dental Injuries
Your child may get many cuts and bumps while they’re growing
up, and injuries to their mouth are no exception. Whether from falls, fights, activities
or accidents, your child encounters various experiences that have the potential
to cause damage to their teeth, tongue, cheeks, and gums. What to do about the
injury depends on what happened, and whether the tooth is a primary or
permanent tooth. In all instances, seek medical attention from a doctor or
Your child is weak or numb
A fever develops, or they show other signs of
Your child has difficulty breathing or swallowing
Any bleeding does not stop after ten minutes of applying
There is jaw pain upon opening or closing the
An object is stuck inside the tissue of the
There is the possibility of a puncture in the
back of the throat
A large or deep cut is inside your child’s mouth
or on their face, or extends past the border of the lips
The tooth is broken, loose, or missing
The tooth is experiencing pain, tenderness, or
Below is a guide to the common incidents that occur in
Tears or Rips: Occasionally the inside of the mouth,
particularly the cheeks and inside of the lips may get small tears and rips.
These usually heal on their own and do not need stitches. Tears to the flap of
skin between the upper lip and gums will also heal without stitches.
Cuts: Large cuts to the tongue might need
stitches to heal properly. Cuts that involve the outside part of the mouth that
go beyond the edge of the lips often require stitches.
Punctures: Your child might end up with a
puncture type injury to the back of their throat if they are to trip or bump
something with an object in their mouth such as a pen or toothbrush. If the
puncture is towards the side of the throat, it runs the risk of encountering
To stop the bleeding of minor injuries, press the cheek or
lip against the teeth and hold it for a few minutes. For the tongue, place a
clean cloth or a piece of gauze on the wounded area and apply pressure with
Bumped Teeth: This occurs simply when something
hits your child’s teeth too hard, and can happen as early as when they are crawling.
The tooth may become loose and bleed slightly by the gums, but often will
tighten up within a few weeks. Exceptionally loose teeth, or teeth that
interfere with your child’s bite should be looked at by a dentist. The injured
tooth may also discolour to a grey or brown, which could potentially indicate
Broken Teeth: This is the most common tooth
injury in young children. Your child’s dentist will need to evaluate the break
to see what the treatment plan will be in order to repair the tooth.
Knocked-Out Teeth: With primary teeth, a knocked-out
tooth is not replaced as it may affect the permanent tooth. The dentist will monitor
the empty space, and decide whether it needs to be maintained so there is room
for the permanent tooth.
Shifted Teeth: A tooth may end up moved from its
original position. The best circumstance is If the tooth angles towards the
inside of the mouth, as the root would have likely moved forward with this
shift. As most permanent teeth grow and develop behind the root, there is less
chance of the permanent tooth being affected. If the tooth has been pushed
upwards back into the gums and bone, it will likely be left alone to re-emerge
on its own. The adult tooth may have experienced damage though. In either case,
the dentist will keep an eye on the injury to see the extent of damage.
Loose Teeth: If the loose tooth is causing
problems with the way your child closed their mouth, it should be looked at
quickly. The tooth can often be put back into its correct position and held with
stitches or splints if necessary.
Broken Teeth: Breaks are usually repaired
successfully. If you have any of the tooth fragments, save them and store them
in tap water as it is occasionally possible to reattach them. Otherwise, the
tooth is repaired using a composite resin matched to the natural colour of the remaining
Knocked-Out Teeth: A missing permanent tooth is
an emergency that should receive treatment as soon as possible, as the longer
the tooth is out the less likely it will survive. If possible, rinse the tooth
and put it back into the empty socket as soon as possible, in a time not
exceeding one hour. Most teeth handled this way and placed back in the socket
within 5 minutes survive. If you are unable to put it back in the socket, store
the tooth in cold milk, or a cup of the child’s saliva until you can see a
Monitor your children’s mouths for any signs of cuts, fractures,
or unnatural loosening. If your child has experienced a dental injury and needs
to be seen, or you have any questions about our other services, give Family
Dental Care a call at 613-736-5000. Your child’s smile is important to us!