When you experience any accident or injury that involves blunt trauma to the face, you should pay close attention to the long-term condition of your teeth. Some of them may have experienced damage below the gum without showing initial signs of injury. Here are five signs that one or more teeth have cracked or fractured in the root area, which generally requires a root canal or other treatment.
1. Bleeding from the Gums
Injuries to the mouth often result in a lot of immediate blood loss, but that blood stops clotting and stops within the first few hours after the accident. If your mouth continues to bleed after a few days and you notice it's coming from the gum line of one or more teeth, you could have a horizontal fracture in the root or worse. You should contact a dentist immediately for x-rays to reveal the condition of the entire tooth and the origin of the blood.
2. Loose Tooth
Healthy teeth should not be loose, but they can experience short-term movement after a serious trauma. If they move around after a day or two, there's a chance of permanent damage to the roots that may not heal without a dentist's help. Waiting too long for treatment could allow infection to set into the tooth. Infection can spread into your jaw and other teeth so it is important to have any loose teeth examined promptly.
3. Pain upon Tapping
Tapping a healthy tooth with a finger or metal dental tool will cause no distinct pain or discomfort. If you tap on a tooth and it is painful, there's either a crack in the root or an infection around the base of the tooth. Both conditions are serious and require immediate dental treatment, so don't ignore percussion related tooth pain.
4. Discoloration of the Crown
When a tooth starts to turns dark or change color, it is a sign something is wrong. Discoloration in the top crown area of the tooth is specifically linked to a horizontal fracture in the tooth root. It is a sign that something is blocking blood off to that part of the tooth. Bacteria growing inside the tooth could also cause the color change. Either way, you will need an x-ray to determine the cause of discoloration.
5. Sensitivity to Hot and Cold
A sudden increase in your sensitivity to hot and cold foods, especially in just one or two teeth, can indicate root fractures and similar damage. Of course, many forms of sensitivity are less serious, so see a dentist before assuming the cause.
To learn more, contact a dental office like Dental Studios of MacArthur.