June 13, 2019

How to Handle Six Common Dental Emergencies

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What’s the worst thing about dental emergencies? Besides the obvious pain and discomfort, dental emergencies aren’t planned or scheduled. From sports injuries to a super-sticky piece of taffy, damage to your teeth and gums can happen in an instant.

That’s the bad news. Here’s the good news: regardless of your dental emergency, there are steps you can take to prevent further damage and lessen pain. You can also schedule an appointment with Dr. Dental for immediate attention. We even offer appointments after regular business hours for urgent dental issues.

Below are some common dental emergencies, along with a few tips and tricks to help you handle these unexpected situations.

  • Chipped or knocked-out tooth. If possible, retrieve and retain the missing tooth (or missing part of your tooth). Take over-the-counter pain medication and, as needed, apply ice. At the earliest possible opportunity, see your dentist about possible fixes. Most importantly: remain calm. Frantic action only makes the emergency worse!
  • Toothache. This dental emergency can come and go due to underlying oral health issues. But sometimes, the pain is too much to bear. Severe toothaches are often the result of an infection. Address the problem immediately by visiting your dentist ASAP.
  • Missing filling. Sometimes, fillings become voids. Older fillings can fall out due to wear and tear, or an unfortunate bite of food can dislodge fillings. It’s important to see your dentist immediately since an empty cavity can collect bacteria, germs, sugar, and other substances.
  • Abscess. An abscess is an infected area between the teeth and gums. Low-grade infections and poor dental care are typical causes. The telltale sign of an abscess is a painful pocket of pus on the gums. Rinse your mouth with salty water to keep the infection from worsening before you can see a dental professional. If the abscess isn’t treated, it can lead to more serious health problems, including sepsis.
  • “Uncrowned” crown. While permanent crowns can become dislodged, most loose or missing crowns are the temporary variety. Keep the missing crown and visit your dentist – don’t try to fix a loose crown yourself!
  • Tissue laceration. Dental emergencies aren’t exclusively about the teeth. Cuts or lacerations to the soft tissue areas of the mouth (tongue, gums, lips, or cheeks) can quickly become infected. For this dental emergency, rinse your mouth with water and apply clean, soft gauze to the laceration(s). Follow up with your dentist to ensure the area isn’t infected.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Dental for all of your dental emergencies at one of our more than 40 locations. We’ll provide the prompt, professional service you need to regain that winning, worry-free smile!

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