Is this your child's symptom?
- Injury to a tooth
Types of Tooth Injuries
- Loosened Tooth. May bleed a little from the gums. Usually tightens up on its own.
- Displaced Tooth. Usually pushed inward. Needs to be seen.
- Chipped Tooth. Minor fracture with small corner of tooth missing tooth. The fracture goes to the dentin (yellow color), not the pulp (red color). Not painful. See dentist during office hours.
- Fractured Tooth. The fracture goes down to the pulp. The pulp is where the blood supply and nerves to the tooth are located. The main finding is a red dot or bleeding in the center of the tooth. Very painful. Needs a root canal to save the tooth.
- Knocked-Out Permanent Tooth. Also called an avulsed tooth. A dental emergency. Needs to be re-implanted within 2 hours.
- Knocked-Out Baby Tooth. It cannot be re-implanted. See during dental office hours.
- The main symptom is pain.
- Minor bleeding from the gums may occur.
When to Call for Tooth Injury
Self Care at Home
- Minor tooth injury
Seattle Children's Urgent Care Locations
If your child’s illness or injury is life-threatening, call 911.
Care Advice for Minor Dental Injuries
- Cold for Pain:
- For pain, put a piece of ice or a popsicle on the injured gum.
- You can also use a cold pack on the cheek.
- Apply for 20 minutes.
- Pain Medicine:
- To help with the pain, give an acetaminophen product (such as Tylenol).
- Another choice is an ibuprofen product (such as Advil).
- Use as needed.
- Soft Diet:
- For any loose teeth, offer a soft diet.
- Avoid foods that need much chewing.
- You can go back to a normal diet after 3 days. By then, the tooth should be tightened up.
- What to Expect:
- Tooth pain most often goes away in 2 or 3 days.
- Call Your Dentist If:
- Pain becomes severe
- Cold fluids cause tooth pain
- Tooth turns a darker color
- You think your child needs to be seen
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the 'Call Your Doctor' symptoms.
Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.
Last Reviewed: 06/05/2023
Last Revised: 12/30/2022
Copyright 2000-2023. Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC.