Dental Emergencies and How You Should Handle Them
Dental emergencies can come in many forms, and some dental emergencies are more urgent than others. Being prepared by having knowledge about how you should handle them, should they occur, will ensure the best possible outcome. Here are some of the most common dental emergencies that we see and what you should do between the time they happen and calling our office.
TOOTH KNOCKED OUT
First, find the missing tooth. With clean hands, hold the tooth by the enamel covered crown. Do not touch the root! Rinse the tooth off with water, but don’t scrub it. Attempt to replace the tooth in the original position and hold it there. If you cannot hold it in place, you can also store it in a cup of milk. This is an emergency you will want to call us right away for. If we can replant the tooth within a half an hour, there is a good chance we can save it.
BROKEN, CHIPPED OR CRACKED TOOTH
You will want to find and save any pieces of the tooth. Next, use warm water to rinse out your mouth. If there is any bleeding, apply some slight pressure with gauze (or paper towel if you do not have gauze on hand). A cold compress on the outside of the mouth can be helpful in preventing or reducing any swelling. Call our office right away as this is another emergency in which time is of essence.
TOOTHACHE OR ORAL PAIN
Give your mouth a good rinse with warm water. Next, apply a cold or warm compress to provide some pain relief. Additionally, you can take Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen as directed on the bottle. The severity of your pain should dictate how soon you should call us. If your pain is mild, you can be more casual. If your pain is very severe, you should call right away as a more serious problem could be causing the pain.
A tooth abscess is an infection around the root of the tooth. Some tell tale signs are a throbbing toothache that can radiate to the jaw, ear, or neck. This can be accompanied by a fever and/or swelling of the face or cheek. An abscess can be a serious and very painful condition. To help, rinse your mouth with warm salty water, and apply a cold compress to provide some pain relief. Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen as directed on the bottle is also helpful. You should also call us right away if you believe you have a tooth abscess.
If you can find the filling piece that fell out, rinse it off and save it in a plastic bag to show your dentist. Then, use a piece of sugarless chewing gum or an over the counter dental cement to cover the empty cavity. Then, call our office for further instructions.
Check to see if the wire is still attached to the bracket. If you can, leave it in place. If any part of the wire is sticking out, you can gently press it back into position using a pencil eraser. If the bracket is loose, you can remove it and bring it with you to your orthodontist. If wires are long or sticking out you can trim them down with a pair of nail clippers to be sure that they do not cut the inside of your mouth. If there is still anything sharp that you cannot trim or press into place, try using an orthodontic wax or pieces of gauze to protect your mouth. After that, call our office for further instructions.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry! If you are unsure if you should be seen by your dentist or not, it is a good idea to call and check. At Theriot Family Dental Care, we take walk-in appointments and will see you today at any one of our four locations if you have a dental emergency.