Dental emergencies like teeth or a gum injury can be potentially dangerous and should never be ignored. Ignoring such a problem can increase the risk of permanent damage to your teeth as well as the need for much more expensive and extensive treatment later on. In this article, you can find some tips on what to do in a dental emergency.
Knowing what to do in situations can make all the difference. Here is a quick run-down on what to do in a dental emergency and save your precious teeth.
Is Your Teeth Condition Urgent?
Not every tooth or dental issue needs a quick visit to the ER. It will be wiser (and cheaper) to see your dentist if your condition doesn’t need immediate medical attention.
Non-Emergency Dental Conditions
Even if these dental conditions don’t require urgent medical care, it’s still essential to visit your dentist if you have one of the following dental problems:
- A dull and persistent toothache
- Damaged, broken or chipped tooth
- Lost crown, bridge or filling
- Stuck objects in between teeth
- Broken wires or braces
Urgent Dental Care Emergencies
Some dental problems can just be treated at home until you can visit your dentist. Others, however, may require immediate attention. Check out some of the dental emergencies that require immediate attention.
- Painful swelling
- Injured jaw
- Severe and consistent toothache
- Tooth infection with fever, pain, and swelling
- A partially or fully knocked-out permanent tooth
You must know the difference between these two dental issues and problems that need urgent care.
How to Handle Dental Emergencies
If you experience a dental problem, especially at night, you must know how to deal with the issues at hand. Here is a list that can help you what to do in a dental emergency.
- Toothaches. Toothaches are common, but if ever you experience this all of a sudden, rinse your mouth thoroughly or gargle with warm water. If food or any object is stuck in between your teeth and its causing pain, use a piece of dental floss to remove it. If swelling is present, apply a cold pack just outside the area of your cheek or mouth. You can also take a painkiller if necessary. Do not put it near the gums of the aching tooth as it may burn your gum tissue.
- Broken or chipped tooth. If you can, save any pieces of the tooth that’s broken and rinse your mouth with warm water. If there is blood, apply gauze for about 10 minutes to stop the bleeding. Apply ice or cold compress the area outside of your mouth where the chipped or broken tooth is located to relieve swelling and pain.
- Partially-dislodged tooth. A projected or extruded tooth may most likely need immediate medical attention to save it. Leave the tooth alone, even if it feels like it’s about to come off. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever or apply a cold compress in the area until you can visit your dentist.
- Knocked-Out Tooth. Rinse off the tooth with water if you’re able to retrieve it. Hold the tooth by the crown and not the roots. Do not remove any tissue fragment and try to put it back in its socket. Do not force it in. If you are unable to insert your tooth back, place it in a small container of milk or water with of table salt. Seek medical attention right away.
- Lost Crown or Filling. If you’re cannot visit your dentist immediately, here are a few things you can do to manage the situation. If you’re in pain, apply clove oil or powder to the most sensitive area using a cotton swab. If possible, place the crown back over your tooth. Use an over the counter dental cement, or a denture adhesive, to hold the crown in its place. You can use a piece of sugarless gum to temporality hold the dental filling in position.
- Food/Object caught in teeth. If something is stuck in between your teeth and is causing you pain, use dental floss to remove it carefully. Never use sharp objects to remove the lodging as this could scratch your gums and teeth. If you can’t remove it by yourself, seek help from your dentist.
- Loose brackets. To temporarily reattach your loose bracket, use a small piece of orthodontic wax. You can also use it as a cushion by putting it over your braces, so it doesn’t scratch the insides of your mouth. You must visit your orthodontist as soon as possible.
- Broken braces or wires. Remember, do not cut the wire yourself. Use a pencil’s eraser to push the wire back into a more comfortable position. This will prevent it from scratching and poking the other parts of your mouth. Use a small cotton ball, an orthodontic wax, or a piece of gauze to cover the end of the wire if you’re unable to reposition it. Seek help from your dentist immediately.
- Tooth Abscess. A tooth abscess is an infection that stems from the root of a tooth. It is usually caused by severe tooth decay and can lead to damaged tissue and teeth. If left untreated, this will also cause the infection to spread to the lymph nodes and other parts of the body. That’s why it is necessary to see your dentist if you think you may have a tooth abscess.
How to Prevent Dental Emergencies
Accidents are unavoidable, no matter how extra careful we are. Still, there a lot of ways you can do to help prevent dental emergencies:
- Wear a mouthguard or face cage during high-intensity sports or activities.
- Visit your dentist regularly.
- Stop bad habits like chewing on fingernails or pens
- Stick to a healthy dental regimen.
- Avoid hard foods that may damage your teeth.
A dental emergency could happen even when we least expect it, which is why we must always be prepared. As you use these tips on what to do in a dental emergency, take extra preventative measures, and have affordable dental care. You should have nothing to worry about. Know more about first aid.