Healing After a Traumatic Injury for Teeth and Gums
Optimal healing following an injury to the teeth and gums depends, in part, on good oral hygiene.
Apply ice on your child’s jaw or cheek for 15 to 20 minutes every hour. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel before you apply it. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.
Do not use the damaged tooth for 2 weeks. Chewing food on the damaged tooth may put too much pressure on it and worsen the injury.
Eat soft foods for 10 days. Soft foods and liquids may be easier to eat until the injury heals. Soft foods include applesauce, pudding, mashed potatoes, gelatin, and ice cream.
Care for your child’s mouth while it heals. Use a soft toothbrush. Rinse your child’s mouth with warm salt water rinses (1 teaspoon salt in 1 cup of warm water). Rinse 2 times each day for 7 days.
Try not to use a pacifier. This puts more pressure on the area and may delay healing.
Possible complications following trauma include: swelling or infection of gums, increased mobility of the injured tooth, infection or abscess of the affected tooth, discoloration of the injured tooth, and possible injury to the underlying adult tooth for more severe injuries.
Your child may not complain of pain, however an infection may still be present, so please monitor for any signs of swelling of the gums near the injured tooth.