Most dental issues can be avoided with diligent oral hygiene and routine dental visits. However, not all dental issues are preventable. Just like any part of the body, your smile can suffer unexpected trauma. While never welcome, dental emergencies can and do occur. Do you know what to do if you or your child experiences a dental emergency?
Never ignore an urgent dental concern. While you may think you are fine to push through a toothache or wait until your next dental appointment to address a chipped tooth, you may be setting yourself up for worsening pain and more invasive (and costly) treatment. Always seek emergency dental care promptly!
Here are some of the most common types of dental emergencies and what you should do if it happens to you:
- Dental pain is hard to ignore. A sudden toothache can jeopardize your ability to eat, sleep and concentrate. Toothaches, however, can be caused by a variety of factors. In some cases, it is simply food wedged in between your teeth that is causing discomfort. While this may seem minor, this could be sufficient enough to actually move the tooth out of position over time. If you have a toothache that could be caused by stuck food, try gently flossing around the tooth first. Rinse with warm water and apply a cold compress to relieve the pain. While over-the-counter pain relievers are okay to take, never apply aspirin directly to the gums. If your toothache persists, call your dentist. It could be an indication of an infection inside the tooth, and this demands urgent treatment.
- Knocked Out or Avulsed Tooth
- Whether it is was due to a sports injury or bad fall, teeth can become loose or knocked out completely in certain situations. This requires some important action steps on your part if you want the chance to save your tooth. Reinsertion of the tooth can be successful if performed within the first 30 minutes to an hour of the accident. When handling your tooth, hold the crown of the tooth, not the roots. If you can’t place it back in the socket, keep it in milk or water until you see the dentist. Time is of the essence!
- Chipped or Cracked Teeth
- Most people know it when they’ve cracked or chipped a tooth. Go ahead and rinse your mouth to wash away the broken pits of tooth structure. Even if you are not experiencing lingering pain or discomfort from the minor tooth damage, it is important to schedule an appointment with your dentist. When the tooth is damaged in any way, it is more vulnerable to bacteria invasion, which can lead to decay or infection.
- Lost Filling or Crown
- If your crown or filling comes off, there are a couple of things to try as you wait to see your emergency dentist. You may purchase temporary cement at your local drugstore to cement the crown back in place. Cements can also be used as a temporary filling. In urgent situations that you cannot get to a dentist or drugstore, you may try sugarless chewing gum. Never use glue to reseal a lost crown or filling!
At Park South Dentistry, we proudly offer emergency dental care for the entire family. If you are unsure as to whether your dental problem warrants an urgent visit, simply gives a call and we can advise you over the phone. When it comes to your smile health, it is always better to be safe than sorry. We also know that dental trauma can be frightening – you’ll find that our office is equipped with soothing amenities, a caring staff and sedation dentistry to lessen your anxiety.