Dental emergencies, just like all medical emergencies, can be serious, have lasting consequences, and are best when treated promptly. Below are a few dental emergencies that you could be faced with and the best course of action for each.
The most important thing to remember is that time can make all the difference. If you are tempted to put off treatment for a problem in your mouth because it doesn’t hurt so much or doesn’t seem too serious, you could be putting your long term oral health on the line.
This is often overlooked as a serious issue. When your tooth is aching, rinse your mouth with warm water and floss to remove any food particles. Do not apply aspirin to the affected area or surrounding gums. If the area is swollen, use a cold compress on the outside of your mouth. See your dentist as soon as you can.
- Chipped/Broken Tooth
Save any pieces that you can. Rinse your mouth out with warm water (do not use mouthwash). Use a cold compress on the outside of your mouth to keep swelling down and help relieve pain. See your dentist as soon as possible.
- Missing Tooth
If the tooth has come completely out, you must act as quickly as you can. The tooth should be kept moist at all times. Handle it only by the crown (the part you normally see). Rinse it gently with water but do not remove any tissue that may cling to the roots. If you can slip the tooth back into the socket without problems, do that. If it does not easily go back into place, keep the tooth in milk, lightly salted water, or a tooth preservation product that has the ADA (American Dental Association) seal of approval. If you are able to reach a dentist within an hour of the tooth coming out, you have a fairly good chance that the tooth can be put back in place permanently.
- Dental Abscess
An abscess is an infection found at the root of the tooth or in the space between the teeth and gums. You may experience pain or numbness in the infected area. There may also be a spot on the gum that looks similar to a pimple, as pus accumulates. This infection can spread to different parts of the body, if severe enough. This is a serious medical condition that should be treated promptly.
- Missing Crown
If there are exposed nerve endings under your crown, having it fall off can create a lot of pain. Rinse the crown if needed, and then try to place it back over the tooth. You can use toothpaste, an over-the-counter dental cement, or denture adhesive to hold the crown on until you can get to the dentist. This is only suitable as a very temporary fix.
When you sustain an injury in your mouth or it feels as though something is not quite right, it’s always in your best interest to see an oral health specialist as quickly as you can.
If you’re experiencing a dental emergency right now, please give Dr. Vito DDS a call at (407) 907-6512 to make an appointment.