How to Take Care of Dental Emergencies

How to Take Care of Dental Emergencies

May 1, 2021

An emergency is any medical condition requiring immediate attention and successful management. Dental emergencies are any issues that involve the patient’s teeth and their supporting tissues that require emergency dental care. Emergencies cannot always be prevented, but knowledge of the symptoms, signs, and treatment enables a person to manage them appropriately.
Emergency dentistry at Milestone Family Dentistry focuses on; reducing pain, saving natural teeth, and preserving them for as long as possible.

Common Oral Emergencies and How to Manage Them

1. Chipped, cracked, or fractured tooth
A chipped tooth that hurts is a dental emergency. Fractured or cracked teeth indicate damage to the inside and outside of the teeth. Call a dentist immediately for an emergency appointment so that your tooth can be saved, but before that, you can:

  • Take the pieces, rinse and save them.
  • Rinse out your mouth with warm water.
  • Apply gauze to the injured area if there is bleeding to stop it.
  • Use a cold compress for swelling and pain relief.

At the dentist’s office, the dentist will do everything to save your tooth.

  • He/she will take an x-ray to diagnose the tooth properly.
  • A Chipped tooth may be smoothed, and composite filling used to repair it.
  • A root canal therapy will be performed if the tooth pulp is damaged.
  • A crown may be needed for the damaged tooth.

2. Cellulitis

It is a bacterial infection leading to swelling and formation of dental abscess. It develops fast and requires urgent treatment. It has the following symptoms;

  • The affected area has red, tight, and shiny skin
  • Painful swelling
  • Swallowing difficulty

The endodontist will drain the abscess in the tooth and perform the first part of a root canal.

3. Knocked-out tooth

Call a dentist immediately for a chance for the tooth to be preserved and reinserted.

  • Avoid touching the root of the tooth so that it is not damaged.
  • Rinse off the tooth without scrubbing or removing any attached tissue.
  • If possible, place it back on its socket. Bite down gently to hold it in place.
  • If it’s not possible, put it between your cheek and gum or a glass of warm milk.
  • A cold, wet compress can be used for the bleeding.
  • During treatment, your dentist may splint the tooth to adjacent teeth to stabilize it.

4. Soft-tissue injury
These are severe cuts or bites to the lip or tongue. In case of such an injury:

  • Use water to gently clean the area.
  • Apply a cold compress to stop the bleeding.
    At an emergency dental center, your dentist will;
  • Stop the bleeding and help alleviate severe pain.
  • Treat and suture cuts.

5. Bleeding or swelling
Bleeding may be caused by; trauma, a hematological abnormality, or post-operative complications. Swelling in the jaw, gums, lips, neck, or palate may be caused by trauma, inflammation, or infection. When you have an oral swelling:

  • Use a piece of gauze to staunch the bleeding.
  • Apply a cold compress to alleviate the swelling.

Your emergency dentist will examine the area thoroughly to determine the cause of swelling and bleeding and treat you accordingly.

6. Orthodontic emergencies

These are urgent issues concerning orthodontic appliances. They may be loose, ingested, or broken. When a patient has swallowed an orthodontic device, it might obstruct the airway and choke them, causing the patient to lose consciousness or choke to death. Lost crowns, fillings, broken braces are a dental emergency when they are ingested, causing pain or bleeding.
As a first-aid measure, give the patient five blows on the back and five abdominal thrusts to try and dislodge the device. If the patient is unconscious, the dentist will perform rescue breath and compressions to the chest.

7. Teeth, gum, or jaw pain

You may experience extreme pain when biting down, taking cold or hot foods and beverages.

  • Sip ice water to reduce pain caused by hot foods and drinks
  • Avoid cold foods and drinks

The dentist will examine you for cellulitis or pericoronitis, among other dental infections.

8. Toothaches

A toothache indicates an issue with the tooth and gums. Please do not ignore it since infections like cellulitis may be fatal.

  • Rinse the mouth using warm water.
  • Remove dislodged food using dental floss.
  • Apply a cold compress on the cheek close to the area or to control swelling.

Steps To Reduce Dental Emergencies

Dental emergencies cannot be wholly avoided, but their occurrence can be reduced with the following tips:

  • Maintain good oral health.
  • Attend regular dental checkups.
  • Avoid chewing on anything that might break, crack or fracture your teeth.
  • Use a mouth guard during sports activities.