The last thing you want to deal with on a warm, spring day is a dental emergency. Unfortunately, you can’t always control when one will happen. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take in such a situation to encourage the fastest recovery possible. As you read on, your emergency dentist explains how to respond to some of the more common types of dental trauma.
What’s Considered a Dental Emergency?
Any situation that results in a sudden downturn in your oral health and that hinders the normal function of your mouth, teeth and gums can be considered a dental emergency. In the event one happens, here are three key steps that should be taken:
- Take a deep breath to calm your nerves.
- Assess the situation to determine what the problem is.
- Contact your emergency dentist to explain what has happened and to schedule a visit.
How to Respond to Common Emergencies
To aid in your recovery, it’s always good to have a plan of action for responding to a dental emergency. Let’s look at some of the more common hiccups that can happen.
Cracked or Broken Tooth
If you participate in any sporting events and you don’t wear a mouthguard, there is a greater chance of you having a dental emergency. That’s because whenever people are moving around hurriedly, there is always the possibility of a collision.
For temporary relief, you can rinse your mouth with warm salt-water to remove any bacteria. You can also take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen or Tylenol to decrease any discomfort.
If your tooth is knocked out, then grab it by the crown and carefully attempt to reinsert it. If that isn’t possible, then you can place the tooth in a cup of milk or water to keep the root alive until you can be seen.
A severe toothache is usually caused by untreated bacteria growth. If you’re in this predicament, then you can first attempt to floss carefully around the pain site to make sure there is nothing lodged between your teeth.
To decrease the pain, you can take ibuprofen or Tylenol, and to reduce any swelling, apply an icepack in 20-minute increments to the outside of your jaw.
Broken or Dislodged Crown/Bridge
If a crown or bridge restoration falls out your mouth, you are left vulnerable to a painful infection. As a temporary remedy, you can place a dollop of dental wax, denture adhesive or toothpaste on the fixture so you can reinsert it.
Why You Shouldn’t Ignore a Dental Emergency
Remember that even if you’re able to get some temporary relief from your dental emergency’s symptoms, you still need to receive professional care. Otherwise, you run the risk of a severe infection, permanent tooth loss or some other more complex problem.
So if you find yourself dealing with sudden dental trauma, don’t hesitate to contact your local dentist.
About the Author
Dr. Ryan Eskridge earned his dental degree from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry. He has since gone on to provide 14 years of expert and compassionate care. Dr. Eskridge helps patients fully recover from dental emergencies at Wedgewood Complete Dentistry, and he can be reached for more information through his website.