Tips for Handling a Dental Emergency
Many unfortunate situations can put your oral health at risk. Whether it’s an extreme pain in your mouth, fall, or a sports injury, you should know what to do as it can mean the difference between keeping and losing your tooth. No matter the cause, you should never ignore the problem, even if the pain subsides. Here’s what you need to do during a dental emergency:
Toothache. Clean the area around the sore tooth by rinsing your mouth thoroughly with a warm salt solution. Use a string of floss to dislodge any food debris. Put a cold compress over your cheek if there’s swelling. Take acetaminophen for pain and visit your dentist immediately.
Broken Tooth or Loss of Permanent Tooth. Rinse the injured area in your mouth with warm water, then gently place a cold washcloth over your face, near the injured area. Look for any tooth fragments you can find. If an accident results in the total loss of your tooth, locate and preserve it in a cup of fresh milk. Contact the dental clinic near you and bring the broken fragments or entire tooth to your dentist.
Mouth Injury. If an impact leads to a mouth injury, immediate medical attention is crucial. Keep the patient’s face as still as possible and get emergency help at once.
When to Go to a Dentist?
For dental emergencies that are not fatal but still need medical attention, you can wait for your local dentist to handle them. If you have a toothache, accidentally knocked out your tooth, got it cracked, or broken from eating something hard, your dentist can check the issue and provide the necessary treatment. An abscessed tooth can be serious. But if it doesn’t affect the way you breathe or swallow, it usually doesn’t advance to a dental emergency.
When Should You Call 911 or Go to a Hospital?
Immediate medical care is crucial if you encounter traumas involving your mouth and face. Major dental injuries, such as severe cuts and lacerations that cause profuse bleeding and severe infection or swelling that affect your ability to breathe or swallow, are potentially life-threatening. The same goes for a fractured or dislocated jaw. In many cases, a dental clinic will not have ample facilities to handle these kinds of emergencies.
6 Ways to Avoid Tooth and Mouth Injuries
Here are some precautionary measures you can take to avoid accidents or injuries to your teeth:
Avoid chewing on ice or anything hard.
Use scissors to cut things, not your teeth.
Don’t even try to use your teeth to pry open a bottle or packaging.
Wear a mouthguard, face cage, or helmet when participating in contact sports.
Don’t use sharp objects to clean or get rid of any object stuck in between your teeth. Use floss instead.
Never skip a visit to your dentist for routine dental exams and cleanings.
Do you want to learn more about how you can protect your oral health from a dental emergency? Visit the Courthouse Art of Dentistry in Arlington, Virginia. Call us now at (703) 260-9600 to book your appointment.