Dental emergencies can be serious and shouldn’t be ignored. They can happen anytime, but the first important thing to remember is to stay calm and take immediate action.
7 Dental emergency tips while waiting to see your dentist
It helps to know how to handle dental injuries safely before you see your dentist. In this post, we talk about things you can do if you experience a dental emergency.
Toothache. Anyone may experience toothaches now and then. Maintain good oral hygiene habits to manage and ease discomfort. Rinse your mouth with warm water to remove debris that may be stuck between your teeth. Floss to clean tight spaces between teeth and along the gumline. You may also apply a cold compress against the cheek to reduce swelling. Don’t apply aspirin directly to the affected area.
Knocked out tooth. If your tooth gets knocked out, try to collect it immediately. Pick it up by its crown (the top part) and not the roots. If it’s been exposed to dust or debris, rinse it with plain water. Then, put it in a cup of milk. You may also try placing the tooth back in its socket. See your dentist as soon as possible to have the tooth restored.
Chipped or fractured tooth. Collect pieces if possible. Rinse them with plain water and clean your mouth as well with warm water. Then, place the fragments in a cup of milk. Relieve any swelling by applying a cold compress on your cheek outside of the affected area. To address bleeding, apply gauze on the site until the bleeding stops. Book an appointment with your dentist immediately, especially if the chip or fracture left a sharp edge on your tooth.
Injured lips or cheeks. Bleeding may occur if the soft tissues - cheeks, tongue, lips, and gums - get injured. Relax and rinse your mouth with a warm saltwater solution. The injury might only look worse than it is due to the bleeding. Control the bleeding by putting a piece of gauze in the area. To help minimize swelling or pain, hold a cold compress outside the mouth, where the affected area is. You may do this for 5 to 10 minutes at a time. If the bleeding persists, see your dentist or go to the emergency room.
Abscess. A dental abscess is due to a bacterial infection. It’s a buildup of pus that can form inside the teeth, on the gums, or the bone. It’s important to have your dentist see it immediately as it won’t heal on its own. Untreated, the abscess can spread to other parts of the body. Keep the area clean by brushing, flossing, and rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater. Rinsing will drain the pus naturally. Don't force the pus out.
Lost fillings or crowns. If your dental crown falls out, try to put it back on the area using toothpaste or denture adhesive. Alternatively, be sure to take the crown with you to the dental office. For lost fillings, meanwhile, you may use sugarless gum to put it back in place temporarily. It’s still important to go to your dentist as soon as possible for a permanent solution.
Broken brackets or loose wires. If the wire on your braces breaks or is poking your cheeks, gum, or tongue, try to gently push it back in place. If you have orthodontic wax, stick some on the end to prevent injury while waiting to see your orthodontist or dentist. Don’t cut the wire as you might accidentally swallow it. If you lose a bracket, try to reattach it with the help of orthodontic wax. Your dentist can re-cement it in place and reposition the wire.
Dental emergencies can happen. You might not even know they occurred. You may hesitate to contact the dental office as you’re not sure if it warrants immediate attention. But for your safety and peace of mind, book an appointment with your dentist. An emergency dental visit can offer immediate relief and keep the issue from worsening.
If you are suffering from any of the above, contact us today at 647.490.6052. Don’t wait until the discomfort or pain worsens. We’ll do our best to see you immediately.