Although you may not be able to prevent a dental emergency from occurring, knowing how to respond to one can be the difference between saving and losing your tooth. Consider some common situations your smile may unfortunately find itself in, and discover what steps you should be prepared to take.
1. Toothaches: Thoroughly rinse your mouth with warm water, and gently use dental floss to remove any lodged food. You can ease the pain by taking an over-the-counter pain medicine that works for you, but DO NOT put aspirin (or other painkillers) directly on your sore tooth or gums as it may burn the gum tissue. If you are experiencing swelling, place a cold compress against the outside of your face at the location of the sore tooth. DO NOT put a heating pad, hot water bottle, or any other source of heat on your jaw. Call our office and explain your symptoms, asking to be seen as soon as possible.
2. Knocked out adult tooth: Hold the tooth by the crown and DO NOT handle the tooth by its root. If the tooth is dirty, rinse it off with water, and then try to place the tooth back into its proper position in your mouth. The tooth must be kept moist at all times, so if you are unable to reinsert the tooth, place it in some milk and come see us right away. Time is of the essence as the best chance of saving the tooth is experienced if it is securely reinserted within an hour of the accident.
3. Losing a filling: As a temporary fix, place a piece of softened SUGAR-FREE chewing gum in the spot where the filling once was to protect the exposed area. Contact us to get your filling put back in place as quickly as possible.
4. Chipped, cracked, or broken teeth: Find and save any broken pieces. Clean the area by rinsing your mouth out with warm water. Limit swelling by placing a cold compress against the damaged area. If necessary, apply a piece of gauze to stop any bleeding. Broken teeth can almost always be saved when our dentist is nearby, so be sure to come see us right away for professional assistance.
5. Losing a crown: Save the crown and make an appointment with Dr. Bodensteiner, a respected Visalia dentist, right away. If possible, place the crown back in place, securing it with an over-the-counter dental adhesive, or even toothpaste. DO NOT use super/crazy glue.
Share this information with your friends and family and help them to keep their oral health a priority at all times. Our high quality dental care involves providing for all of your dental needs, whether it be your regularly scheduled visit or an unexpected dental emergency. Save our office number on your cell phone so that you will be prepared to contact us whenever the situation calls for it. Your teeth and gums will thank you for knowing what to do in a dental emergency.
Do you think most people are aware of what to do in case of unexpected dental issues?