Although we are careful and try to keep maintain our oral health to the best of our abilities, the truth is that dental emergencies can take us by surprise at any time.
Knowing how to act in such a situation can make a difference between, for example, saving and losing a teeth, or going through extra-ordinary pain and not.
With this article, we hope to prepare you to deal with any emergency, at least until you get to the dentist.
What to do in a dental emergency?
It is illogical to assume that you can reach a dental clinic as soon as you’re faced with an issue. So, you must be prepared to perform some basic first aid and take certain actions aimed at alleviating pain, bleeding or any other symptoms.
Remember, going to see a specialist as soon as possible can greatly influence the outcome of the situation. The faster and better the dental care, the more chances you have to come out without any lasting damage.
Below are some quick solutions to the most common dental emergencies. Keep in mind that they are guidance and first aid measures, and you should never avoid visiting the dental clinic near you at the earliest.
If you are experiencing a severe toothache, gently wash the area affected, and clean it with a dental floss and a soft toothbrush. Rinse mouth with salt and warm water.
There is this old wives’ tale about putting aspirin between the teeth. Do not do this, because it can potentially burn you.
If you are experiencing facial swelling, apply a cold compress to provide relief to the area. For additional relief, take acetaminophen as needed, and call your dentist as soon as you can.
Losing a tooth
If you get struck and lose a tooth completely, immediately inform your dentist. Receiving dental assistance within an hour of the incident is crucial to re-implant your tooth. Follow the below steps prior to your emergency appointment:
1) Retrieve the tooth that fell out
2) Keep the tooth safe by placing it between your gums and cheek or you can wrap it in a clean cloth soaked in milk or a saline solution.
3) By maintaining tooth moisture, you improve the chances of a successful re-implantation.
If your tooth is loose and not stable in its position, try to put it in its place it by applying very light pressure with the tip of your finger. Try and get an appointment with your dentist immediately.
Until the dentist can see you, stabilize the tooth and make sure it stays in its place using a damp towel.
Soft tissue injury
If you accidentally cut or bite your tongue, cheeks or lips, you may experience blood. To stop the blood flow, use a clean cloth or gauze and press it firmly on the affected area. If the bleeding persists for 15 minutes, inform your dentist immediately. Stitches may be required to close the wound.
If you do not experience any bleeding but it hurts, dampen a piece of clean cloth with warm water and softly wash the affected area. To reduce the pain or swelling, apply an ice pack. If symptoms persist, get in touch with your dentist immediately for further instructions.
When facing any dental emergency, do not hesitate to call your dentist. Staying calm and receiving professional care immediately is the best thing you can do.