If your child has a fall, bash in the face or sports collision, then they may damage one of their teeth. Sometimes, these kinds of injuries loosen or break teeth; a hard knock may even make a tooth fall out.
However, damage to a tooth can sometimes take a different form. For example, some injuries can actually push a tooth back up into the gum. Why does this happen, and what should you do about it?
Why a Tooth Moves up After Injury
While rare, some injuries to teeth can push them upwards. Depending on the force of the injury, part or even all of the tooth may look like it's disappeared back into the gum. This is known as dental intrusion.
Basically, if this happens, the force of the blow or injury is directed at a point on the tooth that forces it upwards. While other injuries hit the tooth face on, your child may just have been unlucky enough to hit the tooth at the wrong angle. The tooth is likely to have been forced up into the bone above it.
How to Deal With a Dental Intrusion
If your child's tooth has moved up, then you have some immediate triage work to do. The tooth may be bleeding, and your child may be distressed. While stopping the bleeding may calm your child down, you should be careful here. You don't want to touch the tooth more than you have to as this may make the damage worse.
It's also important to keep your child from using that tooth, at least initially. You don't know if an intruded tooth will move more if it used and has more pressure on it. So, it may be a good idea to stop your child from eating for the time being. If your child uses a dummy, then don't let them suck on it.
If your own dentist's clinic is closed, then it's worth calling a local emergency dentist for advice. Explain what has happened and how the tooth looks. An emergency dentist can tell you if your child needs to be seen immediately.
There are various ways to treat intruded teeth. These may depend on the extent of the injury and whether your child has damaged a baby or permanent tooth. The dentist may want to look at the tooth and maybe take x-rays to establish the extent of the damage and possible treatment options.