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Taking a Bite of the Action: Why a Bumped Tooth Requires Prompt Treatment

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Sports and injuries go hand in hand. When someone suspects that they have broken a bone or sprained a knee, ankle, or other joint they see a doctor as quickly as they can. Otherwise, the injury could worsen and seriously affect their life. When teeth are injured and the damage is not obvious, some people fail to seek the necessary emergency treatment their tooth needs.

If you bump a tooth, even if there are no outward signs of trauma, like blood for example, you should still book an emergency dentist. Unlike a ligament, tendon, or bone, all of which will leave you in instant agony, the damage to a tooth may not become apparent until the next day. By then, it could be too late to save the tooth.

The Worst of the Damage is Internal

A broken bone will heal itself, obviously with a little help from you and your doctor. The same goes for any other part of your body. Teeth, on the other hand, cannot heal themselves like bones can. Yes, when a tooth is fractured, a dentist can repair the tooth. However, no matter what the tooth looks like outwardly, the most serious damage occurs internally.

If you were to look inside one of your teeth, you would see a bundle of blood vessels and nerves, connected to the rest of your body via the root tips. This collection of tissue, known as the pulp, nourishes your teeth, senses temperature, and creates dentin which is the spongy, porous material beneath enamel. Trauma may not outwardly harm the tooth but inwardly, this collection of blood vessels and nerves could be damaged. The tooth could then die.

A Traumatised Tooth Needs Immediate Treatment

When you hurt a tooth during sports or due to an accident, book an emergency dental appointment. The tooth needs to be assessed and treated—if need be, within 24 hours. Your dentist will first test the tooth with temperature or electricity to determine if the pulp is in danger of dying. This test will determine whether or not the tooth requires a root canal.

Sometimes, the nerve/pulp will recover. Sometimes, a tooth will not die from trauma until a few years later. However, it is more common for a traumatised nerve to die quickly. Before this happens, you will experience pain. If you get to the dentist fast enough, your dentist can remove the dead or dying tissue before it leads to infection. They can then fill the tooth which will allow you to use it as normal.

If you bump a tooth, get to your dentist within 24 hours. Otherwise, an infection could take hold, leading to severe pain and the need for an extraction. This will affect your appearance and the functionality of your bite. No matter how it looks on the outside, unless you have x-ray vision you have no way of telling just what is happening on the inside.