March 24, 2020
There is never a good time for a dental emergency to strike. With Americans currently enthralled in a battle with COVID-19, it’s an even worse time for one to occur. Thankfully, there are ways to decrease the chances of an unforeseen issue arising. As you read on, you’ll discover some helpful tips, including information on what to eat to avoid dental emergencies.
What’s Considered a Dental Emergency?
A typical dental emergency may include one of the following traits:
- Uncontrollable bleeding
- Loose or dislodged tooth
- Broken or missing dental restoration
- Trauma involving facial bones that can potentially inhibit your breathing
- A soft tissue bacterial infection with painful swelling in the mouth or jaw, that can potentially compromise your airway
As best you can, you want to avoid any of the above scenarios. You can protect yourself through heightened awareness and effective action.
Limit Your Consumption of Sticky and Hard Items
To be on the safe side, it’s best to limit the amount of sticky or hard items you consume. Gooey and chewy foods are more likely to leave residue behind that can attract oral bacteria and contribute to plaque growth, while attempting to bite into hard items can result in a sudden crack or break in your tooth.
Don’t Misuse Your Teeth
Likely, you’re already aware that your teeth are only designed for chewing food, but a little reminder doesn’t hurt. It’s easy to unconsciously use your ivories to pry open a package or to bite your fingernails, but these types of activities could very well leave you with a painful dental emergency.
Avoid Tobacco Products
While smoking may seem like an adequate stress reliever during these turbulent times, it can have several adverse effects. For starters, it can exacerbate any respiratory issues, and it can also amplify any existing symptoms of gum disease.
Cut Back on the Sugar
When you’re spending more time at home, you can easily find yourself tempted to eat more sugary snacks. While it’s okay to have a treat every now and then, overindulgence can attract oral bacteria, which can lead to accelerated plaque growth. The acids released as the sugars are digested can potentially cause a painful toothache.
Here are some healthier alternatives to consider:
- Use sugar-free sweeteners (xylitol, stevia, monk fruit) on your food and in your beverages.
- Eat more fruits (oranges, apples, berries, tomatoes, as the sugars they release tend to cause less havoc on your teeth and gums.
- Eat more protein from sources like fish, tuna, beef and chicken, as they will aid in curbing any sugar cravings.
Although most dental offices are currently closed for elective care, if you find yourself in a precarious situation, you can count on your local emergency dentist to provide the care you need. The best form of treatment, though, is always prevention!
About the Author
Dr. Ryan Eskridge is a graduate of The Ohio State University College of Dentistry. For well over a decade, he has been providing expert and compassionate care. While Dr. Eskridge always stresses the importance of prevention to his patients, he is still available to meet any of your emergency dental care needs during the COVID-19 crisis. He practices at Wedgewood Complete Dentistry, and he can be reached for more information through his website.
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