Dental emergencies can be painful and complicated. Although dental emergencies are mostly not life threatening, they can be accompanied by broken tooth or teeth, pain, loss of blood and the fear of loosing one or more teeth. Dental emergencies can be handled in different ways, depending on the type of emergency situation you are in. In almost all situations, it is important to try to get to your dentist’s office or an office that handles emergency cases or provides urgent dental care. Some dental clinics also have on-call dentists to address emergency dental cases, after hours.
Different Kinds of Dental Emergencies And How to Handle Them
Tooth Breaks Off
Decay, accidents, injuries and brittleness can lead to breaking of tooth or teeth. Tooth cracking or breaking may or may not be accompanied by pain. Tooth breakage may present it self with or without bleeding and/or pain, in which case it may not be necessary to get it fixed urgently but you still need to show it to your dentist, as soon as possible in order to avoid further complications. In case of pain, over the counter pain medication can help until you get to your dentist. In case of bleeding, you can apply cold ice or ice packs and try to get to a dental office that offers urgent care. In most cases, bleeding should not be heavy and stop soon.
In case of an accident involving kids or adults, such as during a game in which the tooth or teeth get knocked off, it is a good idea to immediately rinse and preserve the tooth or teeth water or milk with the root, so that the moisture level is maintained and your dentist or oral surgeon can perform oral surgery to put your tooth or teeth back safely. While handling the teeth after accident, it extremely important that you hold hold the tooth by the crown and not touch the root.
Crown Falls Off or Breaks
It is relatively common for a temporary crown to fall off if you do not take care of the crown. Eating hard foods or touching the crown constantly may result into the temporary crown coming off. A permanent crown can break or fall usually if its been many years or if it was not a well done job or if it was damaged due to continuous chewing of very hard foods. If your temporary or permanent tooth falls of or breaks, you should see your dentist as soon as possible. The dentist will try to re-attach the crown if there has been no damage. A re-root canal may be required if the lower tooth was exposed and there is decay due to a crack or hole in the permanent crown. Sometimes the tooth cannot be saved and will have to be extracted. If your crown comes out as is, you should take it out and retain it safely in a clean container. You should also avoid using the exposed area of the tooth to bite. If you cannot get to your dentist quickly, you may apply adhesive filling or dental wax that is available over the counter in drug stores.
Swelling of Face Or Mouth
A swollen face or mouth due to oral problems is also many-a-times painful and sensitive. Abscess and infection in teeth, gums or bones leads to swelling. Since we know that heart health and oral health is closely related, we should be attentive and aware of this type of swelling. A serious gum infection can lead to strokes in the long run. An urgent dental visit is needed in case of such infections. It is recommended that until you get treated for such infections, you should try to sleep in an upright position as much as possible to prevent the infection from spreading towards your head. Maintaining hydration by drinking lots of plain water can prevent dehydration related issues. For such infections, you may need a root canal along with a deep cleaning. A tooth extraction may be necessary if the infection has caused damage beyond repair.
The very first thing you can do about bleeding teeth or gums is applying ice or ice packs and try to stop the bleeding. This typically works if there is more bleeding because of an injury. If the bleeding and injury is severe, affecting the other facial parts, you may need to go to a hospital’s emergency room or a regular urgent care facility. If there is lesser bleeding and if it is persistent, for example, if you bleed every time you brush and floss, this could be a sign of infection. In this case, you need to get it checked urgently at a dental office. When bleeding occurs along with pain, it is a recommended to eat softer foods and foods that are not too hot. Eating sugary and sticky foods may cause the food to stick to teeth and increase rate of inflammation and decay.
Preventive measures can easily be taken in order to avoid dental emergencies. Protecting teeth from getting injured is vital in order to prevent injuries. An essential step towards preventing injuries is wearing mouth guards when practicing sports. A regular dental checkup is important in order to maintain your oral health and address any issues in a timely manner so that you don’t land into emergencies due to infection, decay and cavities. Lastly, make sure you eat healthy food and all your family members brush and floss regularly so that bacteria and infections can be kept far away. Majority of the dental practices today are prepared to treat various types of dental emergencies but we responsible adults, we must know how to take care of such emergencies before we get to the dental clinic.