My son accidentally hit me in the jaw the other day when we were playing catch with the baseball. It hurt, but I finished practicing with him and just tried to put the pain out of my mind. When I looked in the mirror today I noticed that I have a bruise – that doesn’t necessarily concern me, but what does it that I think I have a loose tooth. Even though it doesn’t appear to move when I mess with it, I can feel it. Will it heal on its own or do I need to see an emergency dentist? — Steven in Missouri
While your bruise will likely fade with time, don’t wait on the tooth – get to a dentist immediately to determine if it is loose and if you need treatment. In the meantime, don’t try wiggling it. What has probably happened is the ligaments that help hold your tooth in place are injured. If they are just stretched at this point, pulling or wiggling the tooth more could snap the ligaments and cause much more damage. An emergency dentist will probably want to stabilize the tooth to make sure it doesn’t get jarred further. Getting treatment now will minimize further damage. There’s a chance the tooth will heal on its own, but if you skip or delay treatment all together, you’re putting yourself at risk of a root canal or even losing the tooth in the future.
This blog post is brought to you by Des Moines cosmetic dentist, Dr. Phelan Thomas. For more information on the services he provides, please visit his Des Moines cosmetic dentist website.