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The first thing to remember is, stay calm. There are many different types of dental emergencies that can happen, sometimes over a period of time, and sometimes they occur suddenly and without warning. This article will go over the different types of dental emergencies there are and what you can do about each one.
When in extreme pain most people will immediately reach for a pain-relieving pill. However, aspirin and ibuprofen should NOT be taken during a dental emergency because they are anticoagulants which can cause excessive bleeding. To alleviate pain, take acetaminophen as directed on the packaging label.
Injuries to your teeth and gums can result in infection or other complications — so make sure you see your Dentist. If your emergency is life-threatening, dial 911 for Emergency Medical Services or go immediately to a hospital emergency room.
A toothache is a pain in or around a tooth that may be caused by:
- Tooth decay
- Abscessed tooth
- Tooth fracture
- A damaged filling
- Repetitive motions, such as chewing gum or grinding teeth
If the pain is severe or has lasted more than 1-2 days, or you are coming down with a fever, you should see the dentist immediately. The only sure way to know what’s causing tooth pain is to see a dentist, who will ask detailed questions about what you’re feeling and perform diagnostic tests, such as x-rays, to try and identify the exact source of the pain.
Swollen or Infected Gums
Swollen gums are usually caused by cavities, debris between the teeth, periodontal disease, and gingivitis. Brushing and flossing your teeth may help to dislodge any material stuck in your teeth. You can also rinse your mouth with saltwater to reduce swelling and pain. Visiting the doctor immediately is always going to be your best course of action. Our friendly staff and dentist will answer any questions you may have.
If you have suffered from a knocked-out tooth, remember to save the tooth immediately. Picking it up only by the crown (top of the tooth) and never touching the tooth by the root so as not to harm it. If the tooth has dirt on it only rinse with water, avoiding scrubbing it so that it will not break. Teeth are often in a fragile state after being knocked out and if broken, the doctor will not be able to put it back in.
If possible, gently put the tooth into the socket. Hold it in place with your fingers or gently bite down until you get to the dentist. If you can not keep it in your mouth place it in a glass of milk. This ensures that the tooth will remain moist and healthy. Make sure to get to the dentist immediately, within a 30-minute window if possible.
Broken Tooth or Crown
Cavities or tooth erosion can weaken your teeth, making them more susceptible to break when chewing hard food. Cracked or broken teeth are serious injuries that can’t be treated at home. You need to see your dentist in order to mend the broken tooth or teeth.
In the meantime, there are things you can do to relieve pain and reduce swelling. Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater to reduce the swelling. Also, take an over-the-counter pain reliever, like acetaminophen. If you need to eat, stick to soft foods and avoid using your broken tooth to chew.
If a dental crown is damaged or cracked, call us for advice on how soon you need to be seen. You may need to come in to see our dentist immediately. Examine the area to check for missing or broken pieces. It may be possible to repair a chipped dental crown, depending on how much of it is damaged, and how severe it is. If the chip isn’t large, your dentist may repair it with resin, a composite material the same color as the tooth. In some cases, the crown just needs to be reshaped and smoothed. If the chip or crack is severe enough, you may need a new crown.
Call our office to describe the situation and schedule an appointment. If the loose bracket has rotated on the wire and is sticking out, attempt to turn it back into its normal position. To minimize the movement of the loose brace, use dental wax. Taking acetaminophen and rinsing with salt water No matter what your situation, coming into the dentist is going to be the best way to get back on the road to oral health. Our staff is professional, friendly, and care about your dental needs. We will answer any questions you have and address all of your concerns.