What Are The Different Types Of Dental Trauma?

Different Types Of Dental Trauma

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Although nobody wants it to happen to anyone, do you know the different types of dental trauma? Sometimes, we may experience dental trauma without being able to identify the problem. Then, the next thing you know, you’re already crying out in pain. 

Fractures and broken teeth are some of most common types of dental trauma. Before dental traumas get worse, it’s crucial to address the issue. Allow our professional team of dental experts to provide you with quality care in order to avoid future dental trauma all together. 

Let’s consider a situation in which you accidentally bumped your mouth on a table, and the impact was significant. Then, bleeding happened, but you didn’t address the trauma right away. Even the slightest dental injury could lead to a worst-case scenario. However, before we jump to a conclusion, here are the different types of dental traumas – explained by dentist Menlo Park.

What Are The Different Types Of Dental Trauma?

Dental injuries could happen to the gums and teeth without your awareness. If you don’t do routine checkups with your dentist, there’s a possibility that this condition could become more evident over time. So what are the different types of dental traumas?

Let’s zoom into the different types of dental traumas and their causes. We’ll also look at how dental surgeons, or dentists can address these injuries and suggest ways to provide better dental protection in the future.

Types Of Dental Trauma #1 – Concussion

A tooth concussion is one of the minor types of injury that can happen to our teeth. In this case, the periodontal ligament can be stretched or ripped. However, sufficient support is still there to hold the tooth in its socket to ensure no noticeable change in its mobility. 

Patients with a dental concussion may experience increased sensitivity, and the gums surrounding it could appear slightly swollen. Sometimes, bleeding might occur. Fortunately, for most patients, the neurovascular tissues of the pulp of the teeth remain healthy. Patients with this condition won’t even notice that they already have a dental concussion.

Types Of Dental Trauma #2 – Subluxation

Subluxations are an aggravation of a concussion. It has more severe damage to the periodontal ligament, with more fibers and even specific gingival capillaries being damaged or stretched. The affected tooth is still in its socket, but there is significant movement. 

Swelling may also be present in the surrounding gingiva, and mild to heavy bleeding may also happen. Sometimes, the patient experiences pain when touching or tapping the tooth gently. 

Types Of Dental Trauma #3 – Extrusion or Extrusive Luxation

Extrusion is a severe dental trauma that can cause dislodgement of the tooth. Most of the time, the ligament that connects the teeth becomes broken. Moreover, there’s already extensive damage to veins and nerve fibers around the teeth.

In an extrusive luxation, the tooth is getting pushed outwards. As a result, the tooth appears to have gotten longer because a part of the tooth root is already exposed. Moreover, the alveolar bone in the tooth’s socket usually gets damaged due to the oblique forces that traumatize the tooth. 

Types Of Dental Trauma #4 – Lateral Luxation

Lateral luxation involves an alteration of the teeth in any direction perpendicular to the longitudinal or axial tooth’s axis. It is widespread on either jaw arches, the labial (lip), or the palatal/lingual (palate/tongue) sides. As a result, the patient may experience partial or heavy bleeding that affects the periodontal ligament. 

Types Of Dental Trauma #5 – Broken Teeth

Broken teeth are dental injuries that cause damage to teeth and typically do not cause dislocations. For example, teeth may get chipped, cracked, fractured, and even torn away. Class I fracture affects only the enamel layer of a tooth. On the other hand, Class II fracture affects both the enamel and dentin layers. Finally, Class III fracture is more severe, affecting the dentin, enamel layers, and the pulp simultaneously.

Class I fractures usually don’t require medical or dental emergencies. Most Menlo Park dentists would treat it with cosmetic dental procedures. Class II fractures require indirect or direct dental restorations since bacteria could quickly multiply within dentin tubules. On the other hand, Class III fractures are medical emergencies because they may cause bleeding and severe pain. Otherwise, if not treated promptly, pulp, jawbones, or gums infections may happen.

Types Of Dental Trauma #6 – Alveolar Fracture

Alveolar fracture is a bone fracture that occurs in the alveolar bone ridge. The tooth socket could or might suffer from this kind of fracture. It is a severe bone fracture that could affect multiple teeth and, if the condition worsens, may spread to the entire teeth molars.

How Dental Trauma Is Treated?

Dental trauma requires a different treatment approach depending on the damage’s type and severity. For example, lateral luxation involves repositioning the damaged tooth. Moreover, it may require prolonged splint treatment, typically lasting between 4 and 6 weeks. The dentist would also ask the patient to have a soft diet during treatment.

The treatment for intrusion can differ depending on the exact reason for the displacement. If the incident is sudden or unexpected, and the teeth aren’t fully developed – it may require a sudden extraction. Other options for treatment include orthodontic repositioning, and in the case of severe dental intrusions – it may need surgery.

Final Words

If you believe you have suffered one or more cases of tooth trauma, contact your dentist as soon as possible. If you are in the Menlo Park or Palo Alto area, please call us for more details on how we can assist you in improving your dental health.

Although the misconceptions is that athletes, or unhygienic people are the most common persons prone to different types of dental trauma, everyone can become affected to some degree by these dental traumas. Thus, make sure to regularly visit your dentist and take strong preventative action. You could have underlying dental trauma without even knowing. So before it’s too late, get the proper treatment.


Dr. Marisa Walker, D.D.S.

150 Middlefield Rd #101, Menlo Park, CA 94025, United States


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