August 2, 2018
The day starts out normally for you. After getting out of bed, you commence your usual activities, but something’s different this morning. There’s an intense pain radiating throughout one side of your face, and it seems to be stemming from one of your teeth. You’ve determined that you have a toothache, but what should you do now? Your emergency dentist says there are certain steps you should take at home to stabilize the situation until you can receive professional help. Learn what to do for this and other common dental emergencies as you read on.
What Your First Steps Should Be
When involved in a dental emergency of any type, here are the first three things you should do:
- Calm Your Nerves – Taking a moment to gather your composure is more than just a formality; it’s necessary to allow for the logical thinking needed to effectively move forward when you have a dental emergency.
- Assess the Situation – After you have calmed your nerves, take a moment to assess the situation so that you can have a better idea of what the challenge is.
- Contact Your Emergency Dentist – Next, contact your emergency dentist and explain to the staff member what has happened so that you can be scheduled for an emergency visit.
When you have a toothache, your first priorities are to lessen the pain and slow down the infection. You can manage the situation by rinsing your mouth with warm water. Then carefully perform oral hygiene to remove any debris or object that may be a contributor to the problem. Finally, take ibuprofen to decrease the pain.
If a tooth has been dislodged, locate it and carefully place it back in its rightful place. If that isn’t possible, then soak it in a cup of milk until you can be seen by your dentist. The sugars in the milk will help to keep your tooth’s roots alive.
Partially Dislodged Tooth
For a tooth that is partially dislodged, gently press down on the crown (the wider part of the digit) to return it to its correct position. Another method to seat the tooth is to carefully bite down on a cotton gauze.
Chipped, Cracked or Broken Tooth
If your tooth is chipped, cracked or broken, you may experience discomfort. You should immediately rinse your mouth with warm water to remove any leftover debris and take ibuprofen to manage any pain.
Damaged Dental Work
A lost crown, filling or other form of dental restoration leaves your tooth vulnerable to infection. The first step towards correcting the problem is to retrieve and dry it off. Next, place a small amount of toothpaste, denture adhesive or dental wax on the restoration, and temporarily reinsert it.
Object Stuck Between the Teeth
To attempt to remove an object lodged between your teeth, carefully floss around the area. If your efforts aren’t successful, then leave it to your emergency dentist to take care of.
Injury to the Gums
If your gums or other soft tissues are cut or punctured, first rinse your mouth with warm water and carefully bite down on a cotton gauze. If the bleeding continues for more than 10 minutes, then immediately head to the emergency room.
Injury to the Jaw
To address a fall or blow to the face that has resulted in intense jaw pain, you should immediately head to the emergency room for X-Rays and treatment.
Facial Pain or Swelling
If you have swelling and pain in the face, you can apply ice in 20-minute intervals and take ibuprofen for pain relief.
Don’t Forget This
Keep in mind that none of the suggested methods of response should be considered as substitutes for receiving the professional care of your dentist. Instead, they provide ways to stabilize the situation so you won’t have to suffer while waiting to be seen by your local expert.
No one wants to deal with dental emergencies, but if one happens, it’s of great benefit to know what to do. To get the relief you need for a toothache or any other form of dental trauma, contact your dentist today.
About the Author
Dr. Gabriel Ruiz earned his dental degree from Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine. Additionally, he has received advanced training from the prestigious Misch Implant Institute, which allows him to provide comprehensive care. To receive the treatment needed to recover from any dental emergency, you can find Dr. Ruiz at East Brunswick Family and Implant Dentistry, and he can be reached for more information through his website.
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