3 Things To Do in A Dental Emergency
While it’s easy to panic in the event of a dental emergency, there are few things you can do to help manage any dental emergency until you can see a dentist. A dental emergency can range from a chipped, cracked or knocked out tooth, to crowns or fillings falling out to cuts on the lips, gums or tongue. Reacting calmly can help speed recovery, manage pain and assist with reconstructing the teeth themselves. No matter what the emergency is, call and make an appointment with your dentist as soon as is possible.
In cases of chipped, broken or a knocked out tooth
Should a part or all of a tooth fall out, keep the piece or the tooth itself. If it’s a whole tooth, try to handle the tooth by the crown, that is the part the sticks out from the gum. Put it in a glass of milk (or a glass of salt water if you do not have milk) until you can get to an emergency room or dentist’s office. If a tooth chips, do not put aspirin directly on the affected area as it’s acidity can damage enamel and irritate gums. If the pain is significant, you can take ibuprofen orally.
In cases of soft tissue damage
If you cut your lips, tongue or gums, you can rinse with salt water. It also helps to hold a moistened tea bag or piece of gauze on the bleeding area to help curb bleeding. A cold compress can also help manage swelling. If bleeding doesn’t stop, go to an emergency room or dentist right away.
In cases where a filling or crown falls out
If a crown or filling falls out, make an appointment as soon as possible and keep the piece. If you want to put it back, use over the counter oral cement or denture glue to secure it. Never use super glue! Brush and floss, taking care to be gentle with the affected tooth. Oil of clove (available in the spice aisle or at nature food stores) can be applied in small amounts with a q-tip on the affected tooth and can help to control oral pain.
No need to panic
Whether you have a cut to the soft tissues or a tooth or filling that has fallen out, these steps can help you make it to dentist. Depending on what your particular dental emergency is, you can manage the pain until you can see a dental professional. More importantly, you can also help to prevent dental emergencies by wearing a mouth guard during sports and avoiding hard foods that might crack teeth.