Published On 12 Jul, 2021
Dental emergencies come uninvited and how you handle it until you get professional medical aid can make all the difference.
Unlike other medical emergencies, dental emergencies are not life-threatening, so you needn’t lose your cool but it is important that you rise to the occasion and act wisely.
Any condition ranging from toothaches, bleeding gums, chipped tooth and avulsed tooth to jaw fracture, come under the ambit of a dental emergency. Here is how to deal with each of them.
Toothaches are easy to handle unless resulting out of injury. They normally arise due to a cavity that often needs a root canal treatment to fix it. But how do you manage it prior to your dental appointment? Do a warm salt water rinse. This reduces pain. There are over-the-counter light painkillers available, which will help you get some good sleep till your root canal is done. If trapped food particle or material is what gives you the pain, try flossing. But, never use sharp pointed objects to remove it.
2. Knocked-out tooth
The first rule is not to panic in the case of a knocked-out tooth. Your tooth can be restored easily, provided you handle it smartly. First, take the tooth by its crown and rinse it off in water to remove the dirt. Do not damage the tissues by cleaning or wiping it. Soak it in either milk or saline water and rush to an emergency dentist within an hour. In all likelihood, your tooth will be restored.
3. Filling or crown loss
If you find that you’ve lost your tooth filling, use sugar-free chewing gum as a temporary filling and visit your dental clinic as soon as possible. In case of crown falling off, make sure to take the crown along when you visit. It is also good to apply clove oil on the area for easing the pain.
4. Broken or chipped tooth
This makes your tooth very sensitive. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water immediately. Rinse off the broken piece as well. Use a cold compress on the cheek to prevent swelling and call up a dentist for an emergency appointment.
5. Broken wires
If you find that a wire has come off your braces and is causing irritation in the mouth, gently push it with a toothbrush away from your cheek or tongue and visit your orthodontist. But never cut the wire yourself as you might accidentally swallow it.
6. Tissue injury and bleeding
Tissue injury can happen anywhere in your mouth such as gums, lips or tongue. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water immediately and use gauze to absorb the blood. Then, apply a cold compress to stop the bleeding and swelling. If it doesn’t work, consult a general dentist without delay.
Dental emergencies can happen anywhere and at anytime of the day. There is no single way to prevent it unless you are in some contact sports, where you are guarded with a helmet and a mouth guard. But still, if the impact is high, these guards are pretty much of very little advantage.
Maintaining oral hygiene can prove to be a good guard against dental emergencies as your teeth will be strong enough to sustain impact. Another piece of advice would be to reserve your teeth for chewing soft food only. Never try to break kernels or cut hard objects using your teeth as it could lead to a dental emergency.