Common Dental Emergencies
Dental emergencies like injury to the teeth or gums can be potentially serious and should not be overlooked or untreated. Brushing these problems to the side can greatly increase the risk of permanent damage as well as the need for more extensive and expensive treatment later on.
Most dental emergencies can be addressed at home before heading to the doctor to alleviate symptoms and to deter it from worsening. Here’s what to do for common dental problems.
- Chipped or broken teeth. Save the pieces. Rinse your mouth with warm water; rinse any broken pieces. When and if there’s bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the affected area until the bleeding stops. Apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth, cheek, or lip near the broken/chipped tooth to relieve swelling and pain.
- Toothache. Again, rinse your mouth with warm water. Use floss to remove any food that may be stuck. If you’re experiencing swelling, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek.
- Knocked-out tooth. Try to find the tooth, hold it by the crown (the part that is usually exposed in the mouth), and clean the tooth if it’s dirty. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, try to put the tooth back in place. Make sure it’s facing the right way. Never force it into the socket. If it’s not possible to reinsert the tooth in the socket, put the tooth in a small container of milk (or cup of water that contains a pinch of table salt, if milk is not available) or a product containing cell growth medium. In all cases, see your dentist as quickly as possible. Knocked out teeth with the highest chances of being saved are those seen by the dentist and returned to their socket within 1 hour of being knocked out.
- Lost filling. Temporarily fix the issue by sticking a piece of sugarless gum into the cavity (gum with sugar may cause pain) or use readily available dental cement. See your dentist as soon as possible.
- Lost crown. If the crown falls off, make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible and bring the crown with you. If you can’t get to the dentist right away and the tooth is causing pain, use a cotton swab to apply a little clove oil to the sensitive area (clove oil can be purchased at your local drug store or in the spice aisle of your grocery store). If possible, slip the crown back over the tooth. Before doing so, coat the inner surface with an over-the-counter dental cement, toothpaste, or denture adhesive, to help hold the crown in place. Do not use super glue!
- Broken braces or wires. When and if a wire breaks it may poking your cheek, tongue, or gum. Use wax or an eraser to move the wire to a more comfortable position. Never cut the wire, as you could end up swallowing it or breathing it into your lungs. See Your orthodontist as soon as possible to remedy the issue.
- Loose brackets or bands. Reattach loose braces, temporarily with a small piece of orthodontic wax or place the wax over the braces to provide a cushion. See your orthodontist as soon as possible. If the problem is a loose band, save it and call your orthodontist for an appointment to have it reattached properly
- Mouth Abscess. Abscesses are a very serious dental issues. They are infections that occur around the root of a tooth or in the space between the teeth and gums. Abscesses can damage tissue and surrounding teeth, with potential of the spreading to other parts of the body if left untreated. See your dentist as soon as possible if you discover a pimple-like swelling on your gum that usually is painful and keep your mouth as clean as possible until then. Rinse with warm salt water or apply a cold compress to alleviate pain or swelling.
Lets face it, dental emergencies happen. its key to address the emergency as soon as possible before it becomes serious. If you think you are experiencing something out of the ordinary gives a call at 541-389-2905 and we can guide you on the proper steps to take if necessary. We are happy to help!