How to Handle Common Dental Emergencies
Saving Your Smile in a Crisis
When a dental emergency occurs, panicking is the last thing you should do. Instead, give us a call and describe what exactly is going on. A member of our team will provide you with guidance over the phone on the next steps you should take. We’ll also do our best to schedule an appointment for you as soon as possible – likely on the same day you call. However, there may be some steps you’ll need to take to deal with your emergency in the meantime. To minimize your pain and damage to your smile, here are some tips on how to handle common dental emergencies.
Object Stuck Between the Teeth
You may be able to remove a piece of food debris or other object that has gotten trapped between your teeth on your own. Pull a piece of waxed dental floss back and forth between your teeth. It may help to tie a little knot on the end of the floss to knock the object out of place.
If you can’t remove it yourself, our team can help. Until your appointment, do not use any sharp objects like a toothpick to attempt to get it out on your own. You might accidentally damage your teeth or scratch your gums.
Partially Dislodged Tooth
An extruded, or partially dislodged tooth, is one of the most urgent dental emergencies. If this occurs, try to gently push the tooth back into its socket. Over-the-counter pain relievers and cold compresses can help you manage any pain and swelling. Avoid chewing anything, even soft foods, with the extruded tooth.
It is critical that you seek dental care as soon as possible, preferably within an hour after the incident. The longer you delay seeking treatment, the less likely it is that we will be able to put the tooth back in its proper place. In that case, we will probably have to extract it entirely.
A dental abscess is a pocket of pus that is caused by a severe infection. Left untreated, an abscess could lead to serious oral health consequences, such as tooth loss. The infection could even spread to other parts of your body and result in systemic illness.
Seek help immediately if you notice a pimple-like bump on your gums, as it often indicates an abscess. An intense, persistent toothache is another common warning sign. In the meantime, rinse your mouth out with a saltwater solution every few hours. This can help to lessen your pain as well as the risk of damage from the infection.
Soft Tissue Injury
For some soft tissue injuries, you should head to your local emergency room instead of our office. This is usually the case if you’re experiencing profuse bleeding that refuses to stop, or if your facial structures are injured in addition to the soft tissues in your mouth.
If you don’t need to visit the emergency room, call us so we can schedule an appointment for you right away. Until then, apply firm pressure to the area with pieces of gauze, cloth, or other soft materials.