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How to Care for a Mouth Injury

Care for a Mouth Injury

As we discussed in our previous post, Why Mouthguards Make (Financial) Sense,  April is National Facial Protection Month. Despite our best efforts to protect our teeth, accidents will happen. When they do, try to remain calm and remember some of these tips to care for a mouth injury. With any injury, be sure to consult your primary caregiver to confirm next steps. 

Regardless of the issue, the first task after any mouth injury is to rule out any further head trauma. Signs of more severe issues may include nausea and vomiting, dizziness and headaches, cold, clammy skin and dilated pupils. If any of these symptoms are present, call 911.


When a tooth is injured, time is valuable. Often a tooth can be reimplanted if done so within an hour.  Control any bleeding and apply a cold compress to suppress any potential swelling.

If a tooth is lost but intact, rinse off the tooth and gently try to ease back into socket told to hold in place until a dentist is reached.

If the tooth cannot be held in position, place the tooth in cold milk, saline, or a wet towel to take with you to the dentist.

If a tooth is broken, try to find all the broken pieces and place in warm gauze to take to the dentist.


To care for a mouth injury that was a direct blow to the mouth, first remove any debris brought on by the impact. Apply direct pressure with gauze to help control bleeding and place a cold compress on the outside of mouth area to reduce any swelling. Warm salt water can be swished around and spit out to help with inflammation. If bleeding does not slow or stop within the hour, head to the hospital.


In the event of an injury that affects braces or another orthodontic appliance that cannot be removed easily, contact your orthodontist right away. If there is a broken piece that simply needs to be adjusted, use a pencil eraser or other blunt object to gently bend loose wires. This prevents them from impaling the gums or surrounding tissue. Utilize gauze or dental wax to cover the area until an orthodontist can repair.


In the event of a potential jaw dislocation or fracture, prepare to see a hospital or oral surgeon immediately. Keep the head stable and elevated, and apply a cold compress to the area to help with swelling. Be sure to continuously monitor vital signs of the person injured for any changes.

Don’t ever second guess a blow to the face. After taking these initial steps to care for a mouth injury, follow up with a physician, dentist or orthodontist to ensure proper care is taken. We are always here to help should you ever have a question about next steps! Give us a call at 847-831-1100.

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