Accidents happen, and knowing what to do when one occurs can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth.
Here are the most common dental emergencies and how to handle them.
Call your dentist and explain the symptoms. Take an over-the-counter painkiller like paracetamol or ibuprofen. Rinse your mouth with warm water and hold an ice pack to your face at the affected area. Don’t use a hot-water bottle or other source of heat: this will make things worse. You could also try to floss around the tooth gently to dislodge any food debris that may have accumulated.
Tooth is Knocked Out
Keep the tooth. If you can’t put it back in place (without forcing it), put it in a small container of milk, or a cup of water with a pinch of salt. The best chance of saving your tooth is if it’s reinserted by a dentist within one hour.
Something Gets Stuck Between Your Teeth
When something gets lodged between your teeth, it can result in infection. Firstly, use floss to try to remove the object. Don’t use a sharp object to try to prise the object out: this can damage your teeth and gums.
Broken or Chipped Tooth
Save any pieces. Rinse your mouth with warm water. Put a cold compress on the outside of the mouth, and apply gauze to any bleeding.
Filling Falls Out
As a temporary measure, use sugarless gum to fill the cavity or use an over-the-counter dental adhesive.
Crown Falls Out
Retrieve the crown to take to your dentist. If the tooth is painful, apply a small amount of clove oil to the affected area. Try to put the crown back in place, using toothpaste to coat the inner surface to act as an adhesive. Never use super glue.
If a wire breaks or protrudes from a brace, try pushing it into a more comfortable position with the rubber end of a pencil. If you can’t relocate it, put dental wax or a piece of gauze over the end. Don’t cut the wire – you could swallow it.
Use dental wax to temporarily re-attach loose braces. Alternatively, apply the wax over the braces to act as a cushion. If the problem is a loose band, save it for your dentist to re-cement or replace.
An abscess is a serious issue that affects the root of a tooth or between the gums and teeth. If left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of your body. There’s little you can do other than see a dentist immediately.
Apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth and take over-the-counter pain relief. Practically, the tooth can fall on its own. However, it wouldn’t hurt to visit your dentist and seek advice.
Proper Handling of Dental Emergencies is the Key
If you know how to react during a dental emergency, you can save lots of time and money. Not only that – you can even avoid permanent dental damage. Yet, aside from handling a dental situation like a pro, you need to focus on preventative measures. This can be done by committing to effective dental habits, avoiding harmful foods, and correcting your nutrition.
Do you need a dental consultation or an immediate procedure? Serenity International Dental Center is here to help. Contact us today if you want to book an appointment!