Dental accidents happen and it is important to know how to deal with them.Once a dental emergency occurs, it is advisable to see a dentist as soon as possible. Most clinics prepare for emergency patients in their daily schedule but there is also the possibility to visit your local emergency room in case your dental office is closed. Once you got an appointment it is important to provide the health professional with as much detail as possible about your condition. There are several reasons for dental emergencies and we have put together some tips on how to treat them and where to go when it happens.
What to do with a knocked out tooth
A knocked out tooth due to an injury or accident is not necessarily lost for good if proper emergency action is taken immediately. Given it is not possible to place the tooth back in the socket, it should be kept moist at all times using saliva or milk in order to be replanted. The nearest dentist should be visited within 30 minutes.
What to do with a cracked tooth
A chipped or cracked tooth is usually nothing serious and your dental health professional should be able to treat it. Nevertheless, a broken tooth is not something you should put off. Rinse your mouth with water to clean the area and use a cold compress to avoid your face from swelling. See your dentist as soon as possible and let the professional repair the broken piece of the tooth by reattaching or using a crown in place.
How to treat a toothache
If your gums throb and your head pounds it is likely you have a toothache. Schedule an appointment at your dentist as soon as possible and use some home remedies in the meantime. Give your mouth a warm saltwater wash and gently floss around your sore tooth to remove any possible bits of food stuck in that area.
How to treat a bitten lip or tongue
Same as above, gently clean the area with warm water and apply a cold compress. The healing time for a bitten lip or tongue depends on how bad the injury is. Avoid hot and spicy food the next couple of days but if excessive bleeding or big swelling occurs you should consult your dentist.
How do I remove a stuck object in my teeth
If you have something stuck between your teeth and it causes pain and discomfort, such as popcorn hulls, seeds and meat fibres, try to remove the foreign object by flossing. Never use a sharp tool to pry the object loose as you might hurt your gums and cause an infection. Rinsing your mouth with warm water might also help to loosen the object. In case you don’t succeed, call your dentist to schedule an appointment.
What to do if you think your jaw is broken
A fractured or dislocated jaw can create eating and breathing problems and requires immediate attention. If your jaw has suffered some kind of impact or accident you might experience a lot of pain and may wonder if your jaw is broken. To minimize the pain, wrap some ice and gently place it on the suspected injury. See your dentist or even the nearest emergency department instantly.
How to avoid dental emergency
As any injury to teeth and gums might damage nerves or blood vessels, the risk of getting an infection should not be underestimated. An untreated infection can spread to other parts of the body and cause serious health problems. To lessen the risk of dental emergency you should always wear a mouthguard when participating in contact sports, avoid eating hard candy, popcorn kernels or any other foods which might crack a tooth and never use your teeth to cut or open items.