When Your Child’s Tooth Injury Requires a Trip to the Emergency Room


Nearly half of all children will experience a tooth injury at some point in their lives. Falls, car accidents and sports are the most common causes of tooth injury in children. Most childhood tooth injuries do not lead to complications, yet any dental emergency can be potentially serious and should not be ignored.

Usually, administering immediate first aid and then visiting our office for treatment is enough to ensure a successful outcome. But when does a dental emergency warrant a visit to the hospital emergency room or walk-in clinic? Here are some guidelines to help you make that decision.

Bleeding: If your child incurs an injury to the teeth, gums, lips or mouth that causes bleeding that cannot be stopped with cold compresses or other first-aid remedies, take your child to the hospital. Use a moistened piece of gauze or tea bag to apply pressure to the area until you arrive at the emergency room.

Jaw fracture or dislocation: A jaw that appears to be fractured or dislocated warrants a trip to the hospital. This injury can cause bleeding and affect breathing. Do not attempt to move the jaw yourself. Use your hands to gently hold your child’s jaw steady during the trip to the hospital.

Infections: An abscess is an infection that occurs around the root of a tooth or in the space between the teeth and gums. It is a serious condition that can damage tissue and surrounding teeth; if left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of the body. If your child has an oral infection that is causing pain, you can ease the discomfort by having him or her rinse several times a day with a mild solution of a half teaspoon of table salt dissolved in 8 ounces of water. However, if the pain persists or there is swelling that cannot be controlled with cold compresses, visit the emergency room as soon as possible.

A dislocated or knocked-out tooth: If a tooth is dislocated or knocked out and you are unable to reach your dentist, take your child to the hospital or to a walk-in clinic for prompt treatment. A knocked-out tooth should be replaced in the tooth socket as soon as possible. Try to do this yourself, then seek professional help. If you cannot replace the tooth, store it in cold milk and take it with you when you go for emergency treatment. Teeth replaced within 15 minutes usually heal successfully. After one hour, chances for tooth survival are slim.

In any circumstance, if your child experiences difficulty breathing, intense pain or fever that cannot be reduced, or seems disoriented, seek immediate emergency care. Then call our office for an assessment and, if necessary, further treatment.

We care about your child’s dental health 12 months of the year. To maintain proper oral hygiene, we want to keep you informed and provide useful information. We hope you find these articles informative and helpful, and we look forward to seeing you at your child’s next appointment.

For More Information Contact our Winnipeg Childrens Dental Office. Its just for Kids! -(204)201-0588

Winnipeg Pediatric Dentist