A dental emergency can happen with any age group. Children can get teeth knocked out by playing sports, or falling and hitting the mouth on the edge of a coffee table. Adults can lose teeth if they are in a car accident or if they happen to get hit in the mouth.
Below are some ways to handle dental emergencies that could save the tooth or make the pain of losing a tooth less severe.
Dental Emergency #1: Toothache
This is the most common kind of emergency. There are a few reasons why you might have a toothache. It could be from a wisdom tooth that is trying to break through the gums. Children sometimes have toothaches from the baby teeth coming through. These are pains that can be resolved with an analgesic that is applied to the gums.
If the pain is caused by the wisdom teeth, come in for an x-ray to see how the teeth are positioned and if they need to be removed.
Dental floss can be used to remove food that might be lodged between the teeth, as this can be a cause of toothaches as well.
A cavity would need to be filled, but if the cavity is severe, there may be a need for a crown or root canal.
It’s best to wash the mouth with warm salt water before calling us to see if this can help with the pain. You can also apply a warm compress to the mouth.
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Dental Emergency #2: Broken Teeth
A broken tooth is another common emergency. You should rinse the mouth with warm salt water, and save any pieces of the tooth that you can. Sometimes children get their teeth knocked out or broken when playing sports. It’s important to wear a mouthguard to protect the teeth in these situations.
If you see any bleeding, you can apply a small piece of gauze to the area until it stops. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, then you need to seek medical treatment as soon as you can. Bring the pieces of tooth to us to see what can be done, if anything, about fixing the tooth. Most of the time, the remainder of the tooth will be pulled. A dental crown may be needed in that situation.
If the tooth is completely knocked from the gum line, try to hold the tooth in the socket until you can get to us. You can also keep the tooth in a glass of cold milk. Teeth can sometimes be replaced if you get to our office within about an hour of the tooth getting knocked out.
Other Dental Emergency Cases
If you have a filling that has come out, you can put a piece of sugarless gum in the area until you can get it filled again.
- Objects between the teeth can often be removed with floss.
- If you have braces and a bracket breaks, use a small amount of orthodontic wax to keep the bracket in place until you get to the orthodontist.
- In the event that a crown comes off, save the crown and bring it in to our office; we may be able to put it back in place.