Knowing whether or not you have a dental emergency can be a dilemma. Preventative care is an excellent way to make sure you don’t have emergency situations, but everyone is susceptible to accidents. For this reason, having your dentist’s contact information is as important as having your physician’s number on hand.
Here are four scenarios that require you to get to your dentist’s office quickly.
I Knocked My Tooth Out
A knocked-out tooth is a dental emergency that requires immediate attention. Follow these steps and the chances for tooth preservation are increased.
- Call your dentist immediately!
- Pick up the tooth by the top. Do not touch the root(s) of the tooth.
- Rinse the tooth off very gently and thoroughly. Do not scrub the tooth or remove any tissue attached to it.
- Place the tooth back into the socket. Hold it gently in position while trying to bite down.
- If you can’t place the tooth back in the socket, put the tooth in a small container, preferably in milk.
Oops! I Cracked A Tooth
A cracked or fractured tooth is a dental emergency. If you suffer a fractured tooth, call your dentist ASAP for an emergency appointment. These steps will help with the pain and swelling:
- Clean your mouth out by gently rinsing thoroughly with warm water.
- If the fracture is caused by facial trauma, apply a cold compress to the area to minimize any swelling.
- Take acetaminophen (not aspirin) according to the packaging directions to alleviate pain.
- Never apply a painkiller to the gum because it can burn the gum tissue. This includes Orajel, which often is marketed for these types of procedures.
My Tooth REALLY Hurts
There’s a difference between a little discomfort when you drink a glass of cold water and a massive toothache. If you have a sudden onset of pain that increases in magnitude and frequency, you could have an abscessed tooth. You’ll want to see a dentist quickly to get the infection under control right away.
My Mouth And Face Are Sore
Were you playing sports and took a ball or fist to the chin? Maybe you thought you were Rocky and tried to go a few rounds? Taking any kind of blow to the face can cause severe damage to your jaw, tongue, lips, and cheeks. Ice any swollen tissue you can and call your dentist.
Whether you’re at home or traveling, having a dental emergency kit makes good sense. They’re easy to make and maintain. Items to have on hand include:
- Small container with a lid
- Name and phone number of your dentist
- Acetaminophen (not aspirin or ibuprofen because they can act as a blood thinner and cause excessive bleeding during a dental emergency).
If you’re in doubt about what to do, call your dentist. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. We’re always happy to answer questions about anything you’ve read here, so contact us or give us a call at 828.277.9907.