No one wants to experience a medical or dental emergency. We prepare as much as we can, and we apply all safety precautions to avoid them. But, sadly, that is always not the case. Here are some of the most common dental emergencies, emergency dental care tips, and helpful first aid procedures that you can do to help handle the situation.
Emergency dental care for a toothache
Toothache is the number one reason why people seek dental emergency care. This dental pain may mean a lot of things, from a simple dental cavity to a more serious gum infection that if left untreated may also pose harm to your overall health.
First aid for a toothache:
Rinse your mouth with warm salt water gently and thoroughly. If you feel food particles got stuck in between your teeth, use dental floss to carefully dislodge it. If the pain is accompanied by swelling, place cold compress to your cheek. Pain medications bought over-the-counter can also help alleviate the pain and swelling while waiting for your emergency dental appointment.
Emergency dental care for broken or cracked tooth
This instance may be caused by an accident that presented trauma to your teeth or mouth. The chipping may or may not cause pain, but it can be uncomfortable due to its sharp edges. Also, if the nerve is exposed because of a severe cracking to the tooth, you can also experience sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, and may even become susceptible to infection.
First aid for cracked or broken tooth:
If possible, find the broken pieces of the tooth. Your dentist can still use any pieces saved and appropriately preserved. If bleeding is present, apply pressure by biting into clean or sterile gauze until the bleeding stops. Swelling may appear after the trauma, so using cold compress can address that. Contact your emergency dentist as soon as possible for further management.
Emergency dental care for knocked out tooth
Like instances of a broken or chipped tooth, knocking out a tooth may be a result of an accident or an injury that caused trauma to the dental cavity. Knocking out the tooth partially or completely may cause pain, bleeding, and discomfort. Prompt dental attention is needed to ease these symptoms and preserve the integrity of the dislodged tooth.
First aid for knocked out tooth
Handling partially dislodged or completely knocked out tooth is different.
For partially dislodged tooth, you can carefully try to put it back to the socket but never force it. Forcing the tooth back to its place may cause further harm and can damage to the nerves. Apply a cold compress to your cheek near the affected area to impede bleeding and swelling. Taking pain relievers can also help with the discomfort and the swelling.
If you completely knocked out a tooth, you can preserve the overall health of the tooth with proper handling and care. If you can still retrieve the tooth, hold the crown (not the root), and gently rinse it off with milk or warm water. Try very carefully to place it back, but if reinserting the tooth to its socket is difficult, do not force it. You can put it instead in a clean container with milk or warm water with a pinch of salt and report directly to an emergency dentist. The sooner your dentist attends to your case, the more possible it is for your tooth to be saved. In fact, studies showed that it is highly likely that a knocked-out tooth can be saved by the dentist and returned to their socket within 1 hour of being dislodged.
Any dental emergency like an injury to the teeth or gums can turn into a possibly serious scenario if ignored. Keep in mind that ignoring a dental problem can up the chances of permanent dental damage which may need more complicated and expensive treatment later on.