What to Do When You Are in A Dental Emergency
Accidents are bound to happen, especially if you are an active person who exercises, works and travels. From sports mishaps to auto accidents and beyond, all sorts of oral health threats lurk. The question is what, exactly, you should do in the event of a dental emergency. Our dental team has all the answers as detailed below.
Contact the Dentist Rather Than Heading to the Hospital
It is awfully tempting to make a beeline to the closest hospital emergency room in the event of a dental emergency1. However, you are better off with the assistance of an emergency dentist as opposed to emergency room personnel. Dentists carve out a part of their daily schedule to treat those suffering from dental emergencies. More important is the fact that dentists have the training, intellect and specialized tools necessary to treat dental emergencies. The same cannot be said about emergency room personnel. In fact, you might not receive any assistance at all after arriving at the emergency room with your dental emergency.
The only time you should even consider visiting a hospital emergency room for a dental emergency is an instance in which your regular dentist's office is not open and other dentists are also unavailable for emergency treatment. It might also make sense to visit the local hospital emergency room if your jaw is broken. However, the assistance of our dentist will prove optimal in all other cases.
How to Proceed After a Tooth is Knocked Out
A knocked-out tooth qualifies as a dental emergency. Do your best to find the tooth on the ground. If you can locate the tooth, make an effort to keep it moist. Ideally, you will submerge the knocked-out tooth in a glass containing milk or your own saliva. If possible, put the tooth back in its socket without pressing against the root. Give our dentist's office a call and head on over to our office as quickly as possible for emergency treatment.
If the tooth in question is a baby tooth, do not assume it is too small to locate. Find the tooth, do your best to keep it moist and meet with our dental team. The dentist will determine whether it is the full tooth or merely part of it that came out of your child's mouth. The dentist can also gauge whether it is prudent to implant the tooth back in the socket.
If the tooth cannot be located or if it is damaged to the point that it is no longer useful, don't fret. Dental industry advancements have made it possible to replace missing teeth with dental implants2. Dental implants function similar to regular teeth. In fact, today's dental implants look exactly like real teeth. However, if at all possible, find and preserve the knocked-out tooth with one of the strategies detailed above. It is always better to reposition the knocked-out tooth rather than have the dentist place a dental implant in your mouth.
How to Proceed if You Bite Your Tongue or Lip
Do not feel embarrassed after biting your lip or tongue. It happens to the best of us. The key is not to panic, remain as calm as possible and be proactive to mitigate the pain and damage. Gently clean the bitten area with water along with a cold compress. If there is more than a trickle of blood or a minor cut, visit with the dentist for emergency treatment. The dentist will help reduce the bleeding while minimizing your pain.
What About a Cracked Tooth?
If your tooth is cracked, rinse out your mouth with lukewarm tap water. Swishing with water will help clean the affected area. Place a cold compress on your face to minimize swelling. Visit our dentist as soon as possible.
A Broken Jaw is a Serious Dental Emergency
If you are even slightly suspicious your jaw is broken, place a cold compress on the site of the pain. The cold compress will minimize the swelling. Visit with the dentist as quickly as possible for emergency treatment. It might be necessary for hospital personnel to treat your broken jaw. This is one of those rare instances in which a dental emergency justifies a trip to the local hospital emergency room.
Treating a Toothache
Though toothaches are quite minor compared to a broken jaw or a lip that is gushing blood, some toothaches have the potential to prove quite serious. Rinse out your mouth with lukewarm water from the tap for a quick cleaning. You can eliminate the food trapped between your teeth by flossing as gently as possible with high-quality floss. Resist the temptation to place aspirin on your painful gums or teeth. There is the potential for aspirin to burn your gum tissue. When in doubt, do not hesitate to visit with the dentist to reduce your pain and rebuild your smile.
How to Proceed if You Have a Tooth or Gum Abscess
Gum or teeth abscesses have the potential to form as a result of trauma to the mouth region. Such abscesses are especially likely if they are not treated in a timely manner by the dentist. If there is a buildup of pus along the tooth root, an abscess is present. It is possible for the abscess to drain the pus right on down into your mouth, causing quite the unpleasant taste. If you have a gum or tooth abscess, you will likely have a number of symptoms ranging from odorous breath to a fever, a nasty toothache and facial/jaw swelling. Do not assume the bacterial infection will get better on its own. If the infection is untreated, it will move to other parts of your neck and head in due time.
AnaBella Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
If you are even slightly suspicious you have a dental emergency, do the smart thing by contacting our office. We are here to reduce your pain, correct your oral health problem and help you move on with life. You can contact our office to schedule an appointment3 by dialing (425) 230-4308.