There are few things worse than a sore tooth or other dental emergencies. The pain never subsides and it can make it downright impossible to concentrate or focus. At times you may be unsure about what to do or how serious it may be. At the end of the day, what even constitutes a dental emergency?
Dental Emergencies and How to Handle Them
There is a range of issues in your mouth that could indicate a dental emergency. Once you realize you have one, it’s important to take the necessary steps for optimal recovery as quickly as possible. Consider the following guide on how to handle these 5 common dental emergencies:
1) Broken, Cracked, or Chipped Tooth
If you have a tooth that is broken, chipped, or cracked, call your dentist immediately. Rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to the outside of the affected area. If there is bleeding, hold gauze over the wound for 10 minutes. Save all fragments and pieces of your chipped tooth and take them with you to the dentist.
2) Knocked Out Permanent Tooth
Having a tooth knocked out is common with slips, trips, falls, and sports injuries. If this happens to you, call your dentist immediately and go into the office if possible. Make sure to hold the tooth by the crown and avoid touching any exposed tissues or nerves. If dirty, rinse the tooth with water, being extremely careful not to touch or remove any tissue still attached. Attempt placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root or simply hold it in your mouth between your gums and cheek. If neither of these is possible, store the tooth in milk on the way to the dentist which will act as a preservative. For your best chance at saving the tooth, get to your dentist within an hour of losing the tooth.
3) Lost Filling
Sometimes a filling may come loose or be knocked out by eating something hard. This can be especially painful. Schedule an appointment with your dentist to have it replaced. In the meantime, you can place an over-the-counter dental cement into the cavity to protect the exposed area. Sugarless gum can also be used in place of dental cement, but do not use any gum containing sugar. This will only make the pain worse.
4) Severe Toothache
A toothache can often be relieved simply by rinsing your mouth with warm water and making sure to remove any particles of food that may be trapped between your teeth. If your pain persists, however, place cold compress on the outside of the affected area and call your dentist. This will help relieve any swelling, inflammation, and pain while you wait for your appointment. Do NOT apply aspirin or any other topical pain relief medication directly on the sore tooth or nearby gums.
5) Injured Lips or Tongue
Everyone bites their lips, tongue, or cheek from time to time and there’s no denying it absolutely hurts. Sometimes, however, it can be a serious injury that needs attention. Bigger injuries of this kind may result in large holes or tears. If the bleeding isn’t severe, clean out the area with warm water and apply a cold compress to the outside. If, however, the bleeding is severe and/or will not stop, take a trip to the ER.
If you or someone you love has a dental emergency, stay calm and take the necessary steps for optimal treatment and recovery. For most dental emergencies, you’ll want to call your dentist immediately and get in as soon as possible. Your dentist will alleviate your pain and apply a permanent fix to the issue at hand. Whatever you do, don’t put it off. Call your dentist!
If you or someone you love experiences a dental emergency, Contact Us immediately. We offer 24-hour emergency dental services and phone consultation.