Here are some common dental emergencies and how to treat them:
Toothache:A toothache can be caused by a number of factors, including decay, infection, or injury. To relieve pain, rinse the mouth with warm water and use a cold compress on the outside of the cheek. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen, with its anti-inflammatory action can also help. It is important to see us as soon as possible to determine the cause of the toothache and to receive appropriate treatment.
Knocked-out tooth:If a tooth is knocked out, it is important to act quickly. Rinse the tooth off, taking care not to remove any attached tissue. Try to place the tooth back into its socket, holding it in place with a piece of gauze. If this isn’t possible, place the tooth in a glass of milk or salt water. The tooth may be able to be re-implanted, but prompt treatment is crucial.
Chipped or broken tooth:This condition can be very painful. Rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. If the break is large or the tooth is causing significant pain, it is important to see us as soon as possible. We may be able to repair the tooth with a filling or crown, depending on the extent of the damage.
Lost filling or crown:A lost filling or crown can be uncomfortable and make eating difficult. If the filling or crown is still intact, try to place it back into the socket. If this isn’t possible, keep it safe and bring it to us for re-application.
Soft tissue injury:Soft tissue injuries, such as cuts or punctures to the tongue, cheek, or lip, can be painful and may bleed profusely. Rinse the mouth with warm water and apply direct pressure to the area with a clean cloth or gauze. If the bleeding doesn’t stop or the wound is severe, seek medical attention immediately.
In addition to these common dental emergencies, it is also important to be prepared for emergencies related to orthodontic treatment, such as broken braces or wires. In these situations, it’s important to cover the wire or bracket with wax or a clean piece of gauze to prevent it from irritating the cheek or tongue.
It’s important to have a plan in place for dental emergencies. We recommend having our number handy so you can come straight in to see us, or go to your local emergency room if the situation warrants immediate intervention.