Knocked-out tooth? Massive toothache? Did your dental crown fall out? A dental emergency can happen when you least expect it. The truth is accidents do happen. However, do you know what to do when an emergency strikes?
Never fear! We have the top five common dental emergencies and how to handle them.
1. Knocked-out tooth
If you accidentally knock out your tooth, it’s possible to save it by acting quickly. Carefully, grab the top of the tooth (not the root) and rinse it with milk. Try placing the tooth back in its socket (don’t force it!). If you’re unable to secure it back into place, it’s important to keep the tooth moist. Put the tooth either in a glass of milk or in your mouth between the cheek and gums. Call your dentist right away to determine the best course of action.
2. Painful toothaches
For toothaches, rinse your mouth with warm water. Try flossing to remove any food or debris caught between the tooth, which could help minimize the ache. DO NOT put aspirin against your gums or the infected tooth because it may burn your gums. If the pain persists, call your dentist right away.
3. Dental crown falls off
If your crown fell out, you want to find the restoration first and gently clean it with a toothbrush. Place it correctly back on the exposed tooth with denture cream or toothpaste. This will temporarily bond the crown to your tooth. Gently bite down on the crown and see your dentist as soon as possible to either replace the crown or reattach the old one.
4. Chipped or broken tooth
Call your dentist right away if your tooth is fractured or broken. Then, rinse your mouth with warm water and apply an ice pack to reduce any swelling in your face. You may take over-the-counter pain medication to help minimize any pain you may have.
5. Jaw injury
If you experienced any trauma to the jaw, you need to see your dentist immediately. Be sure to ice your face to reduce any swelling and do not eat any solid foods. If you suspect your jaw is broken, head to an emergency room immediately.
Can you prevent the unexpected?
As the saying goes, “expect the unexpected.” However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take action to lower your chances of experiencing a dental emergency. Here are a few suggestions:
- Avoid tough and sticky foods (caramel, popcorn kernels, ice, etc.)
- If you or your child play sports, make sure to wear a sports guard
- Brush and floss your teeth regularly
- Be sure to visit your dentist every six months for checkups
- Don’t use your teeth to open packages or cut things (that’s what scissors are for!)
If you’re experiencing any dental emergency, call your dentist right away, and we’ll do everything possible to get you out of pain.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.