Top 5 Dental Emergencies and How to Deal With Them
Emergencies in the medical and dental world are not entirely uncommon. In fact, a dentist sees lots of patients that have problems with their mouth or teeth everyday. These problems include loose and chipped tooth, infections that might have occurred from past dental operations and instruments like dentures and brackets, and other oral health problems. But whatever the problem may be, dental emergencies need early intervention and first-aid knowledge to interfere at the early stages is necessary to prevent infections that may cause bigger problems later on. Here is a guide for you through the most common dental emergencies that you might face and how to deal with them. Do not panic while doing the steps listed below, and you will be fine. More importantly, call your dentist immediately once these things happened to you.
Guide for you through the most common dental emergencies that you might face and how to deal with:
Toothaches might appear as small discomforts, but it may be a symptom to a more serious dental problem, such as abscess (more information here later on). It is usually caused by any of the following: tooth decay, tooth fracture, damaged filling, and infected gums. Its symptoms can also include a sharp, throbbing pain, swelling, and fever. Consult your dentist if your toothache lasts more than 1 or 2 days, your toothache is severe, or an accompanying earache.
- Knocked-out teeth
The important thing to remember if you have a knocked out tooth (in particular permanent tooth) is to keep your mouth clean and moist. If the tooth looks clean enough, try placing it back to its tooth socket, or put it in a container with cold milk. Do not try to remove any tissue fragments left in the knocked-out area. Call your dentist immediately or get help within the first ten minutes, to increase the chances of returning the tooth in its original place.
- Loose brackets or bands
For loose brackets, you can use orthodontic wax to re-attach the braces or over them to act as a cushion for your loose bracket. For a loose band, however, it will be best if you set an appointment with your dentist immediately.
- Partially dislodged tooth
Injuries usually cause some parts of your teeth to get dislodged—you might accidentally have bumped them somewhere. Such cases are called “extruded” teeth by dentists. But just like in the case of knocked-out teeth, there is still a fair chance of getting your teeth back, as long as it root and the blood vessels are still attached. Simply leave your extruded tooth in your mouth and use something to ease the pain (pain relievers, cold compress).
Abscesses are a serious case, and they usually require urgent treatment because they are painful and can procure infection at the other parts of your body. These can be cause by food trapped between your teeth, and produce swelling filled with pus. If you see signs of swelling around your month, rinse your mouth several times a day with a mild salt-water solution (1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water) to help relieve pressure and draw the pus.
If you have had a dental emergency, it should not be ignored. While it is easy to ignore a dental problem, ignoring it may increase the risk of permanent damage to your teeth and you may incur more expensive treatment later. So act now!