While there are many potential teeth-related dental emergencies, our mouth's soft tissues - the jaw, gums, tongue and more - may also require immediate attention. In this post, our Edmonton dentists explain what to do about soft tissue dental trauma.
What is soft tissue damage?
While you are likely aware that dental trauma can happen with our teeth - whether they become chipped, cracked, or knocked out - another thing to keep in mind is that the cheeks, gums, lips and tongue are sensitive. A large number of blood vessels are present throughout our soft tissues, so if they get injured they can bleed easily and there may be a significant amount of blood.
At Emergency Dental Care, we commonly see soft tissue damage and mouth trauma. Today, we'll explain how soft tissue damage happens and provide a dental trauma guide to answer some frequently asked questions. questions.
Damage to the mouth's soft tissues may include:
- Trauma to the tongue (such as a bite or foreign object)
- General gum and mouth pain (unknown origin)
These can be caused by simple injuries to the face, including sports injuries, falls and mistakenly biting the lip or tongue. Since soft tissue injuries tend to bleed easily and may occur suddenly, they can cause panic if a patient hasn't dealt with them before.
Our dental team is here to care for any type of soft tissue injury in your mouth, address any questions and concerns you may have and work to repair damage that may have happened.
First Aid Steps for Soft Tissue Mouth Trauma
If you've had a soft tissue injury to your lips, tongue, cheeks or gums, here's what you can do:
- Rinse with saltwater (a half-teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of lukewarm water), peppermint tea or an antiseptic mouthwash.
- Hold a moist tea bag or gauze over the inured area for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Try to slow bleeding and relieve pain by holding an ice cube over the injured area for 10 minutes.
- For any swelling, use a cold compress or ice pack on the outside cheek
- See your dentist right away while keeping pressure on the injured area.
A soft tissue injury may bleed quickly and profusely but stop after a few minutes. If bleeding continues after you've taken the first aid steps above, see your dentist right away.
What should I do about damage to my gums?
Like other soft tissue injuries, gum trauma can occur due to injuries sustained during physical activity, motor vehicle accidents or accidental falls. Our dentists can examine your mouth and diagnose the problem, whether it's an injury, disease, infection or abscess.
Get to the dentist as soon as possible if the wound is bleeding heavily. Otherwise, taking the first aid steps listed above will also wor for your gums until you're able to see one of our dentists.
Soft Tissue Injury Treatment in Edmonton
Dental emergencies are serious matters, including those involving soft tissues in the mouth. Oral health outcomes can often be determined by whether patients understand they have a dental emergency in those first few critical minutes and take action to get appropriate care from their dentist.
At Emergency Dental Care, we offer same-day appointments for your dental emergency.
Treatment depends on the nature of your injury. In most cases, the dentist will examine the area and look for any foreign objects, dirt, debris, other elements that may cause infection or obvious injuries. In some cases, stitches may be required to close the wound and prevent any more bleeding.