Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The case of the bruised tooth

A few months back, my daughter Papaya was running to the van, excited to be driving to her uncle's house for a visit. She was running in her crocs, and fell...right on her face. She had a bad scrape, but that was it. Our neighbour's daughter fell the same way and lost her two front teeth, so naturally I wiggled her teeth to see that they were still firm in place, and they were. I told my mom about the incident and she mentioned to watch for her tooth changing colour, because it could be dead and not be showing signs of it yet.

About 2 weeks later, I was tickling Papaya and her head went back and I caught a glimpse of the back of one of her front teeth. It was dark. Needless to say I had the biggest pit in my stomach. I felt ill and panicky. She is my firstborn, so I feel I'm still in 'training mode' with her. My husband's medical plan does NOT include dental. Maybe this is why my stomach was hurting, or maybe I was pre-maturely mourning her perfect little chicklet teeth. Over the next several days, her tooth got darker. Only if you looked straight at her teeth could you notice that she had one tooth that was grey, but to me...it was VERY noticable (the picture above shows her tooth in it's grey time...it's her front left tooth).

I didn't rush to the dentist...instead, I googled. I know that may sound irresponsible, but after Papaya had a medical scare when she was a baby and I was given a 2 week wait to see a pediatrician (referred by my family doctor when he didn't know what to do) I decided to do reading on my own. In that particular case, I was able to solve the problem with vaseline...and that pediatrician ended up prescribing a strong hormonal cream...since then, I like to go to mothers first...then doctors.

So, on google...I found SEVERAL mom's who had experienced the same situation with a darkening tooth. There were three ways that this could go: her tooth could continue to darken and turn black and be dead, she could develop an absess above her tooth, or it could be just 'bruised' (meaning that the roots were injured, pooled with blood, turning the tooth grey and just needed to heal) if it was bruised, it would return to it's normal white colour or close to white. I PRAYED it was option three.

I had heard of many dentists who would actually pull the tooth with any discoloration, or do a root palpatation (root canal). Beyond the money, I wanted to wait and see for myself with all the new information I had with me (yay Google!) and I decided to not take her to the dentist, wait and pray.

I'm VERY happy to say Papaya's tooth is as white as when it first came in. It took only about a month between the first sign of grey for it to heal and return to normal. But now I know!

Note: Only BABY teeth can be bruised, adult teeth can only die after injury.


Hope said...

You just made me feel so much better.. My daughter (3 Years old) just had this to happen. We just noticed her tooth turning dark about a wk ago. She is to have an x ray next wk to check the nerve and for infection. I pray that we have the same outcome as you all did. Thanks for giving me hope..... How long did it take from her fall till her tooth started changing colors?

FrugalMama said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FrugalMama said...

Hi Hope,
Sorry for the late reply, it turned colour about 2 weeks after her fall.
How did things turn out for your daughter?

Katty said...

Scary isn't it?
Did you know you can get a dental plan on your own, outside husband's work? I use dentalservice4less.com

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