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Traumatic Injuries
Traumatic Injuries to the Mouth
During accidents, traumatic injuries often happen to the teeth, and their supporting structures. By knowing what is the correct thing to do in these instances can help to save a tooth of yours or someone else's.

If The Tooth Is Broken
1. Bring all fragments to your dentist, for he / she may be able to bond them back for you.
2. If soft tissue (lips, cheek, tongue) are lacerated, check if the fragments are embedded in the wound.
3. Even if the fragments are lost, see your dentist as soon as possible because the fractured tooth may become sensitive and the infected nerve may cause pain.

If The Tooth Is Knocked Out
1. See your dentist immediately.
2. Never attempt to push a baby tooth back because this may further damage the underlying developing adult tooth.

If My Whole Tooth Is Knocked Out
1. You can rinse it with saline or milk (not water), but do not touch or scrub the root, otherwise this may damage the cells on the root surface which are vital to the success of reimplantation of the tooth.
2. If it is an adult tooth, put it back immediately in the correct way and rush to the dentist.
3. If you do not know how to put the tooth back correctly, then put the tooth in a glass of cold saline or milk and see your dentist immediately.
4. Remember, the sooner the tooth is put back into its socket, the better the prognosis.

Head Injury
1. If the trauma is accompanied by head injury or concussion or if the patient is unconscious, he/she should be accompanied to the hospital for neurological (brain) examination and follow up treatment.

Soft Tissue Injury
1. In case of contaminated wounds (e.g. with soil), tetanus toxoid booster may be required. Consult your family doctor.
2. The wound may require cleaning and / or suture.
3. If you have any allergies to antibiotics, you must notify your dentist.
4. In case of bleeding in the mouth, apply direct pressure to the bleeding area with a clean gauze to stop bleeding.

If I Suspect My Jaw Fractured
1. Do not move the jaw.
2. Secure the jaw in place by tying a bandage or towel around the jaw and over the top of the head.
3. Go immediately to a hospital emergency room, or call your dentist.

Some Practical Tips
1. Find out the Emergency number of your Dentist and your local hospital in case of emergency.
2. Better still, always wear a properly fitting Mouthguard when playing sports to prevent injuries to teeth.
3. Prevention is better than Cure.

If you have any problems, visit the "Ask a Dentist" section on HKDA Internet Homepage or send us e-mail at

Note: "Ask a Dentist" is a free dental advisory service provided by HKDA for dental enquiries.