Ouch! No one wants to be the unfortunate victim of a dental emergency. Whether it’s an excruciating toothache, a tooth that’s been knocked out, or a painful crack, dental emergencies tend to send people into panic mode.
But they don’t have to. While it’s impossible to prevent every emergency dental situation, you can be prepared in case one does occur. And that will make it easier for you to get prompt treatment and ultimately save the tooth.
Types of Dental Emergencies — and What to Do
If a tooth is knocked completely out of its socket, it may be possible to save it, if you follow certain steps and get into see us right away.
Have someone call our office while you preserve the tooth. You may rinse it gently with warm water if it’s dirty, but keep any tissue attached and be sure to keep it moist. If you are able to do so safely, place the tooth back in its socket or in your mouth between your teeth and gums. (We don’t recommend this for children). Otherwise, preserve it in a little milk or water.
If your tooth has a crack or chip, clean out your mouth with warm water. Save any fragments if possible. A cold compress can help with swelling and pain. Get in to see us as soon as possible.
If you are suffering from a toothache of uncertain origin, here are a few tips to help relieve your pain.
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever
- Rinse with warm salt water
- Use a cold compress on the outside of your mouth to reduce swelling and pain
- Call our office right away so we can pinpoint the source of your discomfort and provide treatment
How to Prevent Dental Emergencies
It’s impossible to prevent all dental emergencies, but there are actions you can take to increase your oral health and minimize the chances of one occurring.
- Practice good oral hygiene at home. Brush twice per day using a fluoride toothpaste, floss every day, and use an antiseptic mouthwash.
- Avoid chewy sweets such as gummy candies and dried fruits.
- Don’t use your teeth as tools — while strong, they are not designed to open bags or bottles.
- If you chew your nails or other objects, or grind your teeth, try to eliminate these bad (and potentially tooth-breaking) habits.
- Visit us twice per year for a professional checkup. Not only do professional cleanings help keep your teeth strong and healthy, we will be able to spot problems early on, before they turn into a full-blown emergency.
- If you or your child engages in contact sports (or even rides a bike) consider a custom mouthguard. This little piece of plastic goes a long way in protecting the mouth in the case of a hit.
Whatever your dental emergency, Johnson Dentistry will take care of you. Call our Bryan, TX office at 979-279-8839. If you’d like to schedule a non-emergency appointment, you may reach us through our online form.