Most often, when we think of a dental injuries we think of injuries to teeth. But injuries to the soft tissues of the mouth (gums, lips, cheeks, tongue) happen too: falls, collisions, sports injuries, even just a bite gone wrong (who hasn’t bitten the inside of their cheek?). Sometimes we can get food or other foreign particles lodged below the gumline, which can lead to an abscess (and those are painful, serious dental conditions).
When the soft tissues of the mouth are damaged, they usually don’t bleed badly (though when blood and saliva mix it may seem like the bleeding is worse than it is).
The first step in treating an injury of this kind is to rinse youth, preferably with a diluted salt water solution. If you can see the wound, cleanit with mild soap and water. You should try to remove any foreign object or material and rinse again.
Control bleeding with damp gauze (or other clean material). As with most other injuries, direct pressure is usually a great first step. Apply pressure for 10-15 minutes. If the bleeding doesn’t stop in that time, you should get immediate medical help.
An appointment with Dr Leach should be made as soon as possible (preferably within hours). His team will help you assess the extent of the injury and advise on treatment. In some cases Dr. Leach’s team may perform some initial restorative treatments during that visit (stitches, antibiotics, tetanus shot, etc).
Sometimes we get something caught in between our teeth and gum. While often painful, this situation is also high risk for infection. Common culprits are popcorn husks, bits of toothpicks or even fingernails.
Try removing the foreign material with dental floss. Work gently up and down below the gumline. You can also try using light pressure with a toothpick (be careful not to push the object even deeper into the gum). If you’re unable to get the foreign material out on your own, make an appointment with Steven Leach Dental as soon as you’re able. Dr. Leach’s team has the tools to help you remove the object, and can administer medication if necessary.
Gum abscesses (aka a gum boil) is a fluid filled sac that forms on the gums. They can be caused by infection, which in turn can be caused by food other foreign material becoming trapped below the gum line (periodontal disease can be a cause as well).
The pressure from the fluid buildup of an abscess can be very painful. You may experience throbbing pain with sudden onset, tenderness, swelling, or pain in the gums or face. An abscess can also produce a fever. If the pus from an abscess drains into the mouth, though the pain and pressure may subside, you may experience a strange taste.
An untreated abscess can linger for months. It can also lead to serious health issues. The underlying infection that causes the abscess can spread to other parts of the body. If you’re experiencing any symptoms of a periodontal abscess, come see Dr. Leach right away. Early treatment is key. Dr. Leach’s team will usually drain the abscess, clean the affected area and medicate to control the underlying infection.