What to Do During a Dental Emergency: A Step-by-Step Guide
A dental emergency is any serious oral health issue, specifically severe teeth and gum problems, that needs the immediate attention of a dental professional. The common emergency dental problems include persistent, intense toothaches; chipped or broken teeth, knocked-out teeth, partially dislodged teeth, objects trapped in between teeth, lost dental filling/crown, loose or broken braces, dental abscess, and soft tissue injuries.
What to do in a dental emergency? Dental emergencies are potentially serious dental concerns that must not be ignored as these can increase the risk of permanent damages and call for more extensive and costly dental treatments in the future. So, what should be done when facing any dental emergency? This blog is a step-by-step guide on how to handle the most common dental emergencies and how to do emergency dental care while en route to meet a dentist.
What to Do When You Experience A Dental Emergency?
1. Throbbing pain in tooth or gums
Intense, persistent toothache means seeing a dentist right away. Until the patient gets to visit a dentist, pain can be dealt with in some ways. For instance, to ease pain, the patients can rinse their mouths with lukewarm saltwater. In case there is swelling, applying cold compresses or ice packs can provide relief.
Meanwhile the dentist checks for the reason behind the pain and discomfort, the patients must avoid worsening their pain and discomfort by not having hot, sugar-loaded, acidic, or cold food and drinks. Some over-the-counter pain-relieving medications can provide short-term relief from toothache. But, taking painkillers without consulting a dentist is not advisable.
2. A chipped/cracked/broken tooth or restoration
Even a small chipping or cracking of a tooth or restoration can lead to problems. That’s because the tooth may get weaker and be an open space for bacteria to reside. In such cases, the patients must keep safe the broken fragments of their tooth, if they can find them. They can ease their pain and swelling with lukewarm salt water rinse and the application of cold compresses.
The dentist may be called promptly after noticing a chip, crack, or breakage in the tooth. Until then, the patients must be careful when brushing and eating. The dentist can help determine whether there is any further tooth damage and whether or not the tooth can be fixed.
3. Dental abscess
A severe toothache can indicate an abscess. An abscess is a serious infection, a pus-filled pocket being formed on the gums around a tooth. Generally, dental abscess causes swelling around the infected gum site and becomes tender to the touch. In such a dental emergency, it is important to treat infection with antibiotics to avoid further spreading of infection to other sites of the body.
If there is a yellow, red, or colorless pimple-like formation on the gum, it can be a sign of tooth or gum being infected. Patients should try not to squeeze the abscess but can brush and floss the area as usual. They should fix an appointment with an emergency dentist at the earliest.
4. Knocked-out/dislodged permanent or baby tooth
If a child has got his/her baby tooth knocked out, it’s possible to implant the dislodged tooth back in its socket by making an emergency visit to a dental clinic. If an adult knocks out a tooth, it becomes crucial to save the tooth. So, what to do in a dental emergency? Special care must be taken to not touch the knocked-out tooth by its roots. The tooth must be held by its crown part and rinsed off.
Until the turn comes to meet the dentist, one’s dislodged tooth must be kept moist. That’s done by simply keeping the tooth held in the mouth between cheeks and gums to allow saliva to keep the tooth moist or else preserving the tooth in a small amount of milk or water containing a pinch of salt. This way, it’s possible to successfully implant the knocked-out tooth. However, if a dislodged tooth can’t be found, it’s still important to immediately see a dentist to assess the situation better and determine whether any tooth remains lodged in the gum.
The dentist will examine the knocked-out tooth and its socket to check if the tooth can be implanted back or if it needs to be replaced with a dental implant or bridge.
5. Bitten tongue or lip
Do you know biting tongue is one of the most common dental emergencies? Thinking what to do when you experience a dental emergency like this? The answer is when anyone bite their tongue or lips accidentally and have a lot of blood produced at the site, it may become difficult to determine the severity of the injury. The patients should rinse their mouth with saltwater and apply pressure to the injured site with a damp gauze. They must visit an emergency dentist to have their injury assessed and treated well.
6. What to do in a dental emergency with facial swelling
Facial swelling can be caused by an infection of the tooth, gum, or jawbone. In such a case, the patient can apply clove oil onto the infected area to reduce swelling and pain, until the dentist pays attention to it.
7. Uncontrollable bleeding of gums
Gum bleeding could be a sign of severe gum disease/periodontitis. In such a case, until the patients see an emergency dentist, they can try to stop their bleeding by sitting upright or keeping their head elevated while lying down on their back and using a cold compress. The dentist will help guide the patient on the potential cause of bleeding and provide timely appropriate treatment.
8. Mouth injury during a dental procedure
During dental work, it’s possible to get the mouth injured. Sometimes, even a small injury can turn into a serious infection. If that’s the case, the patients must ideally go back to their dentist or oral surgeon who has carried out the dental work. They would best judge the unique situation of their patient and help correct it. Meanwhile, patients can try stopping bleeding and stick to the use of cold compress.
In the following information we have talked about ways to handle a dental emergency at home and what to do if you have a dental emergency at night.
How to Handle a Dental Emergency at Home?
- If one has encountered a dental emergency at home, start rinsing your mouth with warm water and clean the affected area.
- If there’s bleeding, with a clean cloth or gauze apply gentle pressure.
- If one has a knocked-out tooth, in such a case try to place it back in its socket or store it in milk and rush to a dentist.
- Over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage discomfort.
But consult a dentist immediately for professional advice and care. To gain more details on How to handle a dental emergency at home contact a dentist near me.
Tips to Prevent Dental Emergencies at Home or Anywhere:
Dental emergencies are preventable, if one follows some basic dental care tips. These include:
- Wear a mouthguard to protect teeth from injuries caused by bruxism or playing contact sports.
- Avoid biting down on hard, chewy, and sticky food items.
- Don’t use teeth for opening bottle caps or other things.
- Daily practice good oral hygiene.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Take extra caution if in an environment with more risk of falling and being injured in the mouth.
- Visit a dentist at least bi-annually to keep up with your oral health.
What to Do in a Dental Emergency at Night?
Many dental experts provide patients with after-hours emergency care. In cases where a dentist is not available after hours, then it should not be neglected and one still requires treatment from a medical expert. One must go to the nearest healthcare setting in your area. Immediate action must be taken to avoid pain and prevent further damage. Contact a dentist online for further help.
First Point Dental Clinic always has top-notch dentists available for service in dental emergencies. You can also contact them if you have any dental emergency or want to know what to do in a dental emergency.
Give us a call, we will serve you anytime you need us. You can book a same-day appointment with us and get your dental emergency handled in the best possible way at an affordable price.