How To Deal With Dental Emergencies

A dental emergency is a type of medical emergency involving the teeth or gingiva. Pain involving these parts of the mouth, even when minor, can indicate a severe underlying problem that could worsen with time. It is important to contact a dentist as soon as possible for a professional evaluation to minimize damage to the teeth, gums, and supporting bone. Short-term action can be taken to relieve oral pain, which can be very severe.

 
Oil of cloves, which contains eugenol, can be used to treat dental pain without dental equipment; a drop can be applied with a cotton swab as a palliative. After wisdom tooth extraction, for example, a condition known as dry socket can develop where nerve endings are exposed to air. A piece of sterile gauze or cotton soaked in oil of cloves may be placed in the socket after careful cleaning with saline to relieve this form of pain.
 
Over-the-counter topical anesthetics containing active ingredients such as benzocaine or choline salicylate may be applied directly to the gum in order to deaden sensation.
Analgesics such as aspirin, paracetamol (acetaminophen) and ibuprofen are also commonly used; aspirin and ibuprofen have the additional benefits of being anti-inflammatories. Ice and/or heat are also frequently applied. A dentist may prescribe an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid such as Dexameth for pain relief prior to treatment
 
The holidays are a time for fun, festivities and family ... not dental emergencies! Unfortunately, a dental emergency can happen any time, regardless of the season.
Imagine breaking a tooth on a bone during Christmas dinner or waking up on Christmas morning with a toothache! Would you be prepared if a family member got a tooth knocked out while playing with a new football during the holidays?
 
It is a good idea to make dental appointments for your whole family to have check ups and cleanings before the holidays to make sure that there are no immediate problems present.
 
If you or your family members have cavities, go ahead and get them filled. A cavity left untreated can become painful and could also cause your tooth to need a root canal once the decay reaches the pulp of the tooth.
 
The following tips can help you during a dental emergency until you can get to the dentist:
 
Knocked Out Tooth
 
Call your dentist immediately.
Place a wash cloth in the sink (so the tooth doesn’t go down the drain) and rinse it very gently handling only the top of the tooth. Do not scrub any tissue that may be attached to the tooth.
Gently place the tooth back into the socket. If this is not possible, place the tooth in a small container of milk. It’s very important to keep the tooth moist, and you will need to take the tooth to your dentist.
 
Broken Tooth
 
Call your dentist immediately.
Clean your mouth out by rinsing thoroughly with warm water.
Apply a cold compress to the area to minimize any swelling.
 
Possible Broken Jaw
 
If you think that your jaw might be broken, apply a cold compress to the area to minimize any swelling.
Call your dentist immediately or go to the emergency room of a nearby hospital.
 
Toothaches
 
Do not put any pain killers, including aspirin, on the gum because it can burn the gum tissue.
Clean your mouth out by rinsing thoroughly with warm water.
Gently floss around the tooth to remove any food particles that may be caught there.
 
 
 

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