Dental emergencies can happen to anyone. It is important to educate yourself on how to react in case one happens to you or a loved one. Knowing who to call or what at-home procedures you can practice can help avoid further damage to the teeth. Dental emergencies can be potentially serious and should not be ignored. Ignoring the problem can lead to other health risks, permanent damage or more extensive and costly treatment.
An abscess is a swollen, sensitive, pimple like bump filled with pus. Typically found around the root of the tooth or in between the teeth and gums. Abscesses are caused by an infection. Therefore, it is important to book an emergency appointment with your dentist to get it treated before the chance of it spreading, leading to other serious problems.
A toothache can be caused by a numerous amount of things including irritated nerves, infection, gum disease and many other conditions. It is important to visit your dentist to determine the cause and establish treatment. Over the counter pain medication is often recommended to ease the pain until visiting a dentist.
Broken or Chipped Tooth
In most cases, a chipped or broken tooth can be fixed by filling the chip or bonding the cracked tooth back into place. For more serious breaks, a root canal and crown may be necessary to repair the damage. For immediate care, rinse your mouth with warm water, apply pressure if there is bleeding and an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
Knocked out Tooth
If your tooth has been knocked out, there is immediate action required in order to save the tooth. If it has not been repaired in less than two hours of the tooth falling out, chances are high that the tooth will not be able to take to the root again. If there is no chance of swallowing the tooth and the tooth and surrounding areas are clean, you can try to gently place the tooth back into the socket without touching the root. In any other case, make an emergency visit with you dentist as soon as possible. You can place the tooth in milk until your appointment. This will help preserve the cells of the root.
A loose tooth can be caused from an injury, tooth grinding or gum disease. There are treatments to prevent this condition from getting worse. In this situation, book an emergency appointment with your dentist. You can make an attempt to push gently push the tooth back in place but do not use excessive force.
Badly Bitten Lip or Tongue
If the injured area is bleeding, apply pressure to the bleed with a clean cloth. You can also use an icepack to relieve any swelling that might occur. If the bleeding does not stop, we urge your to visit the emergency room to get treated.
Lost Filling or Crown
Losing a filling or crown is not an urgent emergency. You may notice some pain or sensitivity due to the exposed tissue. We suggest booking the nearest available appointment with your dentist to get treated. If left untreated, the exposed tooth can become more damaged.
Food Stuck Between Teeth
Make attempts to remove the food with dental floss. Never try to use any hard or sharp objects to remove what is lodged between your teeth. If you are unable to get it out, make an appointment with your dentist to prevent any injury caused by trying to remove the food.
Broken Bracket or Poking Wire
Apply relief wax to the spot where the wire or broken bracket is causing discomfort. You can try to carefully move the wire or bracket to a less painful spot. Depending on the severity, you may want to book an appointment with your orthodontist to resolve the issue before further damage occurs.
If a spacer has become loose or fallen out, simply place it back between the teeth. Use two threads of dental floss and loop each thread into the spacer on both sides. With a tight grip on the floss, gently push the spacer back in between the teeth.
Damaged or Broken Retainer:
If you already have a fixed wire retainer but it is broken partially or completely, it may or may not be able to be repaired. If it cannot be repaired or you choose not to repair it, you will have the options of a new fixed wire retainer or a new removable retainer.
Dental emergencies happen, being prepared is very important but knowing what preventative measures you can take to avoid them happening to you is even better.
Adequate Oral Hygiene
Applying proper brushing habits and flossing on a daily basis will ensure your teeth are healthy and strong. This can help treatment for dental emergencies and in some cases prevent certain emergencies from happening.
Patients are recommended to visit their dentist every six months for a cleaning and checkup. If these appointments are maintained, your oral health will be monitored and maintained and any issues any problems can be addressed sooner, before turning into a serious dental emergency.
Avoiding Hard or Sticky Candies
Something as simple as avoiding hard and chewy candies can prevent a dental emergency from happening. Especially if you are a patient with braces, retainers, crowns or fillings.
We encourage anyone who plays sport to wear a mouthguard to avoid serious injuries to the teeth. At York Orthodontics, custom made mouthguards are available to patients. These mouthguards provide the best protection.