When teeth get damaged

Take quick action and you could save the tooth. A root canal may be unavoidable, but (honest!) it shouldn't be that painful.

Most dental trauma happens to younger people. But we adults damage our teeth plenty, too. Some of us don't put away childish things. Errant basketballs and baseballs, mountain bike spills — they've landed more than a few in the dentist's chair. Age in general takes a toll on our sense of balance, so stumbles become more common. Pitch forward, and your teeth may get the worst of it.

The damage might not show right away. If your teeth are chipped or knocked loose, they've probably absorbed most of the force and it will be obvious that you need dental work. But even if your teeth are intact, the jawbone and underlying dental tissue may have been injured because they absorbed some of the force.

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