Most dental issues are fixed with regular treatment and visits to a medical professional. However, some problems may be big enough to warrant a visit to the emergency room or late-night visit to your dentist. While these dental emergencies hopefully don’t happen to you, there are some ways to be prepared in the event an emergency occurs.
1. Lip bleeding While it may be pretty common to accidentally bite down on your tongue or lip, sometimes these injuries are advanced and result in large tears and even holes. Fortunately the lip tissue heals the fastest out of almost all skins, but it may be necessary to visit the ER if bleeding does not stop. If the bleeding is not too severe, clean the area gently and apply a cold compress.
2. Broken tooth If you happen to crack a tooth, call your dentist immediately. Until then, rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress outside the affected area. You can also put gauze for ten minutes over any area that is bleeding. If you cannot get to a dentist’s office immediately, buy temporary dental cement from the nearest drugstore and apply it to the affected tooth.
3. Damaged braces Some cases of braces being damaged are not serious and can wait until the next appointment. However, you won’t know for sure so call the orthodontist as soon as the incident occurs and keep any broken pieces of the braces. Without fixing the problem, the braces could improperly shift teeth or lead to cuts and scrapes in the mouth.
4. Knocked out tooth This may happen with sports injuries or even a slip and fall. To avoid losing the tooth, grab it by the crown and avoid touching any exposed nerves or tissue. Rinse the root if it is dirty, but again, do not remove pieces of tissue that are attached. Call your dentist immediately and store the tooth in milk, which will act as a preservative.
5. Painful swelling You may not know the cause of that sharp swelling inside your mouth, but any pain should be reported immediately. You will probably be diagnosed with an abscess, or a painful pus-filled pocket. This can lead to many infections, especially if the pocket bursts. Until then, rinse your mouth with saltwater to relieve pressure and pain.
6. Toothaches Toothaches will occur from time to time, and can often be solved by rinsing your mouth with warm water and flossing out any particles of food trapped between teeth. If this does not solve the problem or you suspect a more serious toothache, put a cold compress outside the area in which pain persists and call a dentist. If you have swelling, the cold compress should help reduce inflammation and pain.
If you have any of these dental issues or believe you need a medical care for an emergency, go ahead and call your dentist. It’s better to be safe and perhaps call unnecessarily than to end up with an infection, toothache, or even tooth loss.