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Asphalt in gums
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Questions in the Dental Health forum are answered by Dr. Jerome Tsang. Topics covered include bridges, cavities, crowns, and x-rays.

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Asphalt in gums

Our little 3 year old girl took a terrible spill yesterday, going face first into asphalt, and the brunt of the force was on her two upper front teeth and upper gums.  Amazingly, her teeth were not broken or chipped, and the little piece of tissue connecting the gums to the lip was not broken.  However, it was sufficient force to leave black marks from the asphalt in those two teeth and in the gums.

We went straight to the ER, where to doctor took a look and found nothing broken or in need of immediate attention, other than to try to clean the area.  He didn't expect there to be any infection issues, and the teeth still felt solid in their sockets (and from what I can tell, it doesn't appear that they've been pushed inward).

We're a bit at ease that she didn't break those teeth or her jawbone or do other damage in the fall, but we're wondering about the black material on her gums.  We're less worried about the baby teeth.  Would you expect the black material to get worked out of the gums in time, or could the gums heal over that material leaving it permanently black?  We've purchased some anbesol, an electric toothbrush and a water-pik system to try to aid in the cleaning of her gums and teeth, but are wondering if we should use those, and if they'll be enough.

If they won't, what might you suggest to clean her gums (and teeth, if possible).  We've not done anything yet, as the area is still extremely tender.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
I think the color will work its way out. What you have to be concerned about is the trauma from the fall may have damaged the nerve of the teeth. Nothing can be done about it but I would be observing a bubble above the teeth in the future.I would mention this to the dentist that evenually treats your daughter so it can be monitored. I would use a soft toothbrush when the area becomes less sensitive.
3 Comments
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267401_tn?1251856096
A bit of an update - now that some of the swelling and pain have subsided, I've had a better chance to look at the injury - there are no rock chunks or things of that nature in her gums (thankfully!) - it appears the black is the sealant that is put on asphalt.  
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267401_tn?1251856096
Thank you for your reply.  If a bubble does appear indicating nerve damage, will the teeth need to be pulled or some o ther procedure done?  If so, what negative impact should we expect it to have on the surrounding teeth as they grow?

Will this damage be restricted to those baby teeth, or might it affect future adult teeth as well?

Thanks again.
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