Most people have a childhood story about themselves or a friend losing teeth in an accident. The past trauma is turned into a funny story with lost teeth long since replaced with adult teeth. No one remembers the panic of parents frantically trying to soothe their child and figure out what to do next.
Unfortunately most adults can also recount a more recent event where they weren’t sure what to do when a dental emergency hit. Dental emergencies can be fairly common, so much so that some dentists now have an emergency dentist on call anytime the business is closed, such as after hours and the weekend. Since accidents and health issues happen, you may want to choose a dentist that has an emergency dentist on call.
It is important to recognize that some emergencies are life threatening especially infections which can spread. Here are a few dental emergencies and how to handle them until you can get the help that you need from your dentist.
Mouth Injury From A Fall Or Accident
If you have an accident involving your mouth or jaw and have loose teeth, you should immediately call your dentist. If your teeth were loosened with an injury, go to the emergency room and ask your dentist to meet you there. Be sure to have your dentist check your jaw to make sure it was not broken in the accident. By the way, anyone over the age of 10 should not have loose teeth, and a dentist should always be contacted for an exam and advice.
Knocked Out Teeth
There are some very important instructions to follow if you have a tooth knocked out. First, do not touch the tooth by the roots. Pick it up very carefully by the top. Next, if possible place the tooth back in the socket where it fits correctly. If you cannot do this, it is essential to keep the tooth damp. One option is to put it in some milk, and another is placing it between your teeth and gums inside your mouth. Get to your emergency dentist as quickly as possible. The tooth has to be repositioned within 30 minutes in order to save it.
Chipped or Broken Teeth
A chipped or broken tooth is not necessarily an emergency. If it is a small chip or break, you can call your dentist to make a regular appointment. If it is a larger break that causes pain, you should call your dentist immediately.
Swelling In Your Mouth Or Jaw
Swelling, even though it is one of the most common dental emergencies, can be a sign of a very serious issue like infection. An infection will not heal on its own and must be treated. If you have swelling, call your dentist immediately. Stay in a seated position and do not lie down until the dentist says it is okay. Also, you should drink fluids to stay well-hydrated.
Bleeding That Won’t Stop
If you have blood in your saliva or any form of bleeding from your mouth, it is not normal. This includes after having a tooth removed. Bleeding can be a sign of cancer or serious gum disease. If this is happening to you, keep your head up and call your dentist immediately. If you have blood on your floss or sometimes with brushing, it can signal an irritated area or some gingivitis. The best thing to do in this case is visit your dentist for a regular cleaning and check up.
In the event of an emergency with your teeth, gums or jaw, don’t panic. Take steps to make yourself more comfortable, follow the guidelines above and get in touch with your dentist.
Your dental health is highly connected to your overall health. Studies have shown that gum disease and other oral issues can be related to signs of strokes, heart disease and other issues.
Maintaining good oral hygiene will help to prevent emergency issues with your teeth and gums. The American Dental Association recommends that you visit your dentist every six months to get your teeth cleaned. During this regular check up, you will be checked for signs of other issues like gum disease and infection, helping to prevent future dental emergencies.