The 7 Worst Dental Emergencies You Must Know How to Handle

Dental Emergencies Are Not Uncommon

We all know how important it is to take good care of our teeth. Despite the best efforts and most diligent attention to care there are occasional dental emergencies that crop up and throw a monkey wrench in your plans for the perfect smile. Knowing how to handle the occasional dental emergencies can make all the difference in the world when it comes to protecting the beauty of your smile and the health of your teeth.

1) A Knocked out Tooth

Missing no one wants to go through life looking like a hockey player from days gone by. Once we mere mortals get our permanent teeth this is a distinct possibility at any age. We play rough, have car wrecks, walk into doorways, and countless other things that can send an otherwise healthy tooth flying. All is not lost. There are things you can do that may actually save the tooth and allow it to be re-implanted into your mouth.

Here’s what you need to do:

Start by picking the tooth up by the top rather than the root. Do not touch the root because that can damage the nerve which will eliminate the possibility of re-implanting the tooth.

Place the tooth in a covered container (like a Ziploc storage container) with just enough milk to keep the tooth hydrated.

Get to a dentist. The faster the better when it comes to attempting to save the tooth. Getting to the dentist within an hour of the incident will greatly improve the odds of successfully re-implanting a tooth that has been knocked out.

2) A Fractured Tooth

A broken or fractured tooth can be disconcerting to say the least. The first thing you need to do once a tooth has broken is rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm salt water. Then you’ll want to take a pain reliever like ibuprofen if there is any pain. The next step is to call your dentist for an appointment as soon as possible. Your dentist will be able to advise you best on the next course of action depending on the location of the tooth, the severity of the break, and your age and individual circumstances.

It is important to get the care of a dentist in this situation because the tooth could become infected leading to other medical problems without proper care. Avoid eating sugary and starchy foods and drinking sugary drinks between the time the tooth breaks and you get to the dentist as the tooth will be extremely vulnerable to decay at this time.

3) A Lost Filling or Crown

You spent a lot of money getting the first filling or crown. You might not like the idea of going in for another but a lost filling or crown is a dental emergency that should not be ignored.

If you can recover the crown it can be help in place temporarily with kits that can be purchased in most drug stores. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water before using the kit. It is still important to get to a dentist at the first available opportunity but will remove some of the urgency.

Otherwise, an extremely temporary fix is to use dental wax (the kind that is often used with braces) or lost filling material that can also be purchased at a local drug store. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water and then follow the instruction in the kit you’ve purchased. Each kit will have its own set of instructions. Remember that this does not replace actual care by a dentist. You will need to schedule an appointment as soon as possible for a more permanent solution.

Toothaches Can Be Severe- Most Prevented

4) Toothaches

Toothaches can take the strongest of men down fast. There are those who say they prefer the pain of a gunshot to the pain of a toothache. Whether this is your first toothache or your fiftieth you want nothing more than for the pain to end. There are no quickie one size fits all solutions that will cure every toothache on the spot but there is one that consistently works for many types of toothaches.

Before you do anything, be sure to thoroughly rinse your moth with a solution of salt and warm water. This is a wise plan for almost every dental emergency. Salt water can not only help relieve minor swelling associated with dental emergencies but is also believed to offer some relieve from pain.

For this solution you’ll need a small bottle of oil of cloves. It isn’t the cheapest purchase you’ll make but it is worth the investment and considerably less than a trip to the dentist. Soak a cotton ball in the oil of cloves and place the cotton ball directly on the problem tooth. Avoid getting the oil of cloves on your tongue. It tastes horrible!

Another thing you can do for dental pain is take ibuprofen which will relieve inflammation and the pain.

You should note that dental pain is generally a sign of a problem and should not be ignored. Plan to visit your dentist soon; even if the pain goes away.

5) An Exposed Nerve

This might be one of the most painful dental emergencies a person can face. An exposed nerve can result in searing pain with every breath you take, every sip you take, and every move you make. While it might sound like an ancient pop song there is nothing fun about living with an exposed nerve. You simply cannot get to the dentist fast enough to make the pain go away.

So, what can you do?

A simple solution (those simple solutions almost always work best) is to chew a piece of sugarless gum for a few minutes and then using the piece of gum to cover the offending tooth. You must use sugarless gumas sugar will do more harm than good in almost every dental emergency.

The gum solution will only work for a very little while. You will need to visit your dentist and find a longer lasting solution as soon as possible. The relief in this situation warrants the discomfort of sitting in the dentist chair for a little while.

6) Abscessed Teeth

An abscessed tooth or multiple abscessed teeth is painful in its own right. The solution presented by the dentist might be a bit painful for the pocketbook but it is necessary. The problem with abscessed teeth is that the pain my come and go in waves but the underlying problem will remain until you actually go to the dentist and solve the problem.

Some areas do not yet have 24-hour dental care facilities. This means that an abscess rearing its ugliness on nights and weekends might have you facing a bit of a dental emergency. Abscessed teeth are painful to deal with and you can’t always identify the problem tooth because this pain radiates throughout your mouth.

How do you deal with pain until your dentist can see you? First, call your dentist. If you have a longstanding relationship with your dentist, chances are that he might be willing to call in a prescription for antibiotics (that will ultimately be necessary in fighting the affection) without charging for an office visit as long as you schedule a follow up visit soon.

If that isn’t an option or isn’t enough for you to deal with the pain rinse your mouth water warm salt water (this should help with the pain and swelling of an abscessed tooth) and then take ibuprofen or acetaminophen. This will also help with any infection related fever you may have.

Another thing you can do if the pain remains too much is wrap a heating pad with a towel and place it on the side of your mouth that is hurting. Corn or rice pillows that have been warmed work well for this also. Don’t leave the heating pad on too long but it will help draw out some of the pain.

7) Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums can either be a temporary emergency or a symptom of a much bigger problem. If you’re having chronic problems with bleeding gums it’s a good idea to seek the assistance of a dental professional as soon as possible.

For bleeding gums due to an accident, cut, or scrape these directions will help provide relief from the pain and stop the flow of blood.

Rinse mouth with warm salt water. This will relieve swelling and help with pain.

Use gentle compression to stop or slow the flow of blood.

Drink cold water or juices. Avoid sugary juices as sugar may contribute to a possible infection of the area. The colder you can handle the drinks, the better it will be for numbing the area and relieving the pain.

Take acetaminophen or some other non-aspirin based pain reliever for the pain. Aspirin works as a blood thinner, which makes the blood flow more freely so it should be avoided.

These dental emergencies can be the worst when you don’t know how to react to them. When you take proper precautions and know how to handle the situation you are much more likely to enjoy a favorable outcome for your oral health and your smile.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is for educational purposes only and not intended for actual dental advice. In the event of an actual dental emergency a professional dentist or dental emergency room is the first and best line of treatment.

from 4-5-2010

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