Need Emergency Dental Care? 5 Emergency Scenarios and What to Do
Situations Requiring Emergency Dental Care
Over 16% of emergency dental visits are considered urgent while over 50% are considered semi-urgent. When you are facing emergency scenarios for your oral health, you want to make sure you know how urgent it is and what to do. You never want to hesitate to get the care you need!
1. Bitten Tongue or Split Lip
One of the most common types of dental emergencies is a bitten tongue or lip. Mouths tend to bleed a lot but heal quickly, so it can be hard to know whether it’s an emergency or not. If the cut is minor, the bleeding should stop after you’ve rinsed your mouth with salt water and applied pressure on the cut with some gauze or a clean cloth. You can also use ice to help prevent or lessen the swelling in your mouth. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, you’ll want to get it checked out.
If this is more than a minor cut, you should get help as soon as possible. You should still do what you can to stop the bleeding with gauze or a cloth, but you should get checked out by a dentist. You could require stitches and depending on the cut, you might need antibiotics to prevent infection.
2. Cracked, Broken, & Chipped Teeth
Next, many people use emergency dental services to help with teeth that are broken, chipped, or cracked. This can happen for many reasons. It can happen while playing sports, riding a bike, or even just tripping over an object. You can also break a weakened tooth by biting down hard or even grinding your teeth. If you have any sort of cracked, chipped, or broken tooth, you may need emergency dental care. How soon you should be seen depends on how big or deep the crack or break is and how much pain you are in.
When you break a tooth, there are a few steps you can take if you do not have quick access to an emergency dentist. You should rinse out your mouth, stop any bleeding with a clean cloth or gauze, and take over-the-counter medicines for discomfort, as needed. You can also use a cold pack to prevent swelling and pain in your mouth.
If you can see a dentist quickly, try to avoid eating or drinking anything until you can get your tooth fixed. But if the situation is something that can wait for the next day, try to stick with soft foods like yogurt, applesauce, pudding, or oatmeal.
3. Loosened Teeth or a Knocked-Out Tooth
If you have hit your tooth and it is either loose or even knocked out, there may be a way to save and reattach your tooth. This is possible if the root is still attached and you act quickly. Dentists usually need to see you within an hour in order to have the best chance at restoring the tooth.
In this case, do your best to preserve the tooth and the roots until you can visit the dentist. Make sure you only hold the tooth by the crown and don’t touch the roots. You can rinse the tooth in water, but don’t soak it. Then, if possible, place the tooth back in its socket or tuck into the cheek of your mouth. If neither of those options work well, put it in a container with milk, saline solution, or even saliva. Then head to the dentist as quickly as possible.
4. Broken Jaw
A broken jaw can be very painful. As you make your way to your emergency dentist or the local emergency room, you should do what you can to help the pain. You can use a cold pack to help the swelling. You can also take anti-inflammatory, over-the-counter pain medicines.
Make sure you do what you can to keep your mouth closed and not use your jaw.
5. Dental Abscess
A dental abscess is another dental emergency that can cause a lot of pain in your mouth. An abscess is an infection in your tooth, near the root, or in the gums. Because these infections can damage your gums and the root of your teeth, they can lead to tooth loss.
This is why it is vital to act quickly! These should be treated by a dentist, but you can help keep them from getting worse by rinsing your mouth with saltwater. Saltwater rinses can keep your gums healthier and can help promote healing once the dentist has treated the abcess. Likely, after your dentist has drained the abscess, performed a root canal, or pulled the tooth, they can prescribe you antibiotics to stop the infection from spreading.
How to Avoid Dental Emergencies
There are many things you can do to prevent dental emergencies. First, if you are participating in any sports, make sure you wear a mouthguard to protect your mouth! Also try to avoid chewing on things that can be bad for your teeth. These include hard candies, ice, and other hard foods.
If you notice any pain in your gums or teeth, you should visit your dentist to prevent it from worsening. It is also vital that you practice good oral health habits to prevent tooth decay and rotting.
Learn More About Emergency Scenarios In Dentistry Today
Emergency dental situations happen, and they can be scary, especially if you are unsure of what to do. By learning more about emergency scenarios in dental work, you can prepare for these situations and rest assured you have done the best you can as you hurry to your nearest emergency-prepared dentist.
Whether you are experiencing a toothache, broken tooth, or even a tooth knocked out, Tomasik Family Dental is here to help you through your emergency dental situation.