What Makes a True Dental Emergency?
Have you ever chipped your tooth on a bottle or felt something continuously poking your gums that was stuck between your teeth? These are just two of the five most common dental emergencies that can potentially cause serious risk to your oral health if left untreated.
It’s important to know what identifies as a dental emergency so you know when to seek instant care if it happens. Accidents happen all the time. If your tooth has become severely injured, has nerve damage, or you’ve lost a crown or filling that’s protecting a tooth, you should call a dentist for immediate attention.
You don’t want to risk further damage and the best solution is to receive professional care from an experienced dentist who knows how to handle dental emergencies.
How to Care for These Top 5 Emergencies
It’s crucial to handle a dental emergency right away, especially if it happens late at night and you can’t get to the dentist at that moment. Sometimes you may have to wait a bit longer to get an appointment with a dentist, so knowing how to care for your injury at home is pivotal in saving the future of your oral health.
Explore the top five dental emergencies today and see how to handle each situation until you see your dentist.
1. Cracked, Broken, or Knocked Out Teeth
Teeth are very strong, but there are some things that can cause them to break, chip, or get completely taken out. Maybe you bit on a piece of food that was too hard, you got knocked out in a sports game, or you clench and grind your teeth often which can all cause your tooth to crack.
If any of these accidents happen and you’re waiting to visit your dentist, be sure to save any pieces of your tooth. Rinse your mouth immediately with warm water and apply a piece of gauze to the area for about ten minutes if there’s bleeding. You can also apply a cold cloth to the outside of your mouth to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
2. Sudden Toothaches
Unexpected pain in your mouth is never fun and can hinder your ability to eat or even clean your teeth. A sudden toothache may be a sign of a root canal where the nerve of your tooth has become infected or decayed. Luckily, root canal therapy can easily remove the bacteria in the tooth and protect the nerve from future infection.
If you’re experiencing a toothache, it’s best to thoroughly rinse your mouth with mild salt water throughout the day and take over-the-counter pain relievers to help. Also, make sure to remove any lodged food between teeth with floss to ensure that’s not the reason for your pain until you’re able to visit your dentist.
3. Broke or Lost a Filling or Crown
Do you have a tooth that's protected by a filling or dental crown and has recently chipped or completely fallen off? With these kinds of emergencies, you’ll definitely want to schedule a dentist appointment right away before your tooth becomes infected.
If you’ve lost your filling, try to stick a piece of sugarless gum into the cavity to help prevent anything from harming it. For a broken or lost crown or one that’s fallen off, use a cotton swab to apply clove oil to the area to help diminish pain. If you still have the crown, try to slip it back over your tooth with dental cement from a drugstore or toothpaste-- never use glue!
4. Loose Teeth
Sometimes a tooth may be hit or slightly injured where it becomes loose, but doesn’t completely fall out or break. In these cases, you’ll most likely need to have it removed to prevent further injury, infection, or decay from occurring. Tooth extraction is an easy procedure that removes loose teeth and replaces them with a durable tooth replacement solution.
Try your best to keep your tooth in its socket and don’t be tempted to wiggle it with your finger or tongue. This may allow bacteria or food particles to get trapped under the tooth. Until you see a dentist, simply rinse your mouth with warm salt water to keep it clean and take any pain medications if needed.
5. Object Caught Between Teeth
Every day, food particles can easily get caught between our teeth and sometimes they’re very hard to reach or they get caught in the gums. This can harm your oral health and lead to disease or scratch your tooth’s surface.
To help get the protruding object out, first gently use floss to carefully remove the object. If the piece won’t wiggle out, don’t force it or cause further damage. Never use a pin or sharp object in an attempt to remove it and do your best to patiently wait until you see your dentist.
Do You Have a Dental Emergency in Flagstaff?
Dental emergencies can be inconvenient and cause unwanted pain in your mouth. Finding a dentist who can quickly help your problem can be easy here in Flagstaff. At Oasis Dental Care, Dr. Rodda and Dr. Abramowitz are always here to help care for your emergency and provide you with immediate relief for your discomfort. If you have a dental emergency, don’t wait-- contact us right away.