What Does a Bruised Tooth Look Like?

If you should receive a sharp enough blow to your arm, your leg, or really any part of your body covered by skin, you might develop a bruise. This bruising is generally a dark colour, and will usually appear some hours after the event or even the following day. Did you know that the same thing is possible when you suffer a dental injury? A sharp blow to the mouth might not have damaged the exterior surfaces of your teeth, but their internal components might have suffered some trauma.

Visual Inspection

Blunt force trauma to your jaw should always be checked out by a dentist. However, since you performed a visual inspection yourself and couldn't spot anything amiss, you may not have thought the issue was serious enough to bother. Just like a bruise on your skin, a bruised tooth can take some time to develop.

A Pink Colour

A bruised tooth can often appear to take on a pink colour. Sufficiently strong dental trauma can cause the capillaries (tiny blood vessels) around the tooth to rupture, sending blood back into the tooth's root system. This is what causes the pink colour and can also be a sign of imminent danger, as you could be experiencing the beginnings of root resorption. This type of resorption will destabilise the tooth's structure and can lead to its loss. The discolouration can be accompanied by discomfort for some people. 

Prompt Action

If a tooth should become pink after an injury, you might not have thought it to be particularly serious, but you must take prompt action. You need to see a dentist immediately. If the incident occurs at night or on the weekend, see an emergency dentist. It's really unwise to delay, as quick action can prevent the loss of the tooth.

Supporting the Tooth

A dentist will assess the bruised tooth, and it's likely that your tooth will be splinted. This is a simple form of stabilisation, in which the tooth is temporarily bonded to its neighbours. It means that the tooth will not be overly aggravated by bite pressure, allowing it to heal and for its root system to re-stabilise. Ideally, no further action will be needed, but sometimes a root canal might prove to be necessary. In many cases, the discolouration will fade as the tooth heals itself.

A bruised tooth is a sign that an injury was more severe than initially suspected, and it warrants an immediate trip to the dentist. Your tooth needs immediate assistance to prevent its loss.

To learn more, contact a local emergency dentist.