We asked Hadi, who owns an emergency dentist practice in Cheshire – Knutsford Road Dental – what he thinks is the best thing to do when you have a serious problem with your mouth. Hadi has written this great article explaining the steps to take for some of the more common emergencies to help alleviate pain and discomfort before seeing a dentist.
Dental Emergencies – Don’t Ignore Them!
Any dental emergency, such as injuries to gums or teeth, should never be ignored since they could be potentially dangerous. When a dental problem is ignored, risk of permanent damage is increased in addition to the need for more expensive and extensive treatment in the future.
The following is a brief summary of what should you should do if any of the following common dental problems should arise:
Toothaches. The first thing you should do is rinse your mouth thoroughly using warm water. To remove any food that is stuck, use dental floss. If you have a swollen mouth, place a cold compress on the outside of your cheek or mouth. Don’t ever place aspirin or another type of painkiller near an aching tooth or against your gums since this can end up burning the gum tissue. Go visit your dentist as quickly as you can.
Broken or chipped teeth. Save any pieces. Use warm water to rinse your mouth out; also rinse any broken pieces that you have. If you have any bleeding, place a piece of gauze onto the area for around 10 minutes or so or until it stops bleeding. To relieve pain and keep swelling down, place a cold compress on the outside of your lip, check, or mouth next to your chipped or broken tooth. Visit your dentist as soon as your can.
Knocked-out tooth. Collect the tooth, and then hold it from the crown part (usually the part exposed in your mouth) and then use water to rinse the tooth root off if it is dirty. Don’t remove any tissue fragments that are attached or scrub the tooth. Try putting your tooth back into place if possible. Be sure that it is facing in the right direction. Don’t ever force the tooth into its socket. If the tooth cannot be reinserted into the socket, place the tooth in a small container with milk (or if you don’t have any milk you can use a cup of water with a pinch of salt), or Save-a-Tooth or any other product that contains cell growth medium. In all circumstances, visit your dentist as soon as you can. Knocked out teeth that have the best chance of being save are the ones that a dentist returns to its socket without one hour of it being knocked out.
Extruded tooth (partially dislodged). Visit your dentist immediately. Until you can get to the dentist’s office, place a cold compress onto the outside of your cheek or mouth in the affected area to relieve pain. If needed, take an over-the-counter pain reliever (like Advil or Tylenol).
Objects stuck between teeth. First of all, try to use dental floss to very carefully and gently remove the object. See your dentist if you are unable to remove the object. Never use a sharp pin such a pin for poking at the object that is stuck. Those items can scratch the surface of your tooth or cut your gums.
Lost filling. You can place a piece of sugar free gum inside the cavity as a temporary measure (sugar-filled gum causes pain) or an over-the-counter dental cement can be used. Visit your dentist as fast as you can.
Lost crown. If your crown falls off, call your visit and schedule as an appointment for as early as you can and take the crown in with you to the dentist. If you are unable to visit the dentist right away and your teeth is causing you pain, a cotton swab can be used to apply some clove oil onto the sensitive area (you can find clove oil for sale at your grocery store in the spice aisle or at a local drug store). Place your crown back over your tooth if possible. Before you do this, the inner surface of the crown should be coated with denture adhesive, toothpaste or over-the-counter dental cement, to hold your crown in place. Super glue should not be used!
Broken wires and braces. If a wire sticks out of one the brackets or breaks or a band is poking your gum, tongue or cheek try to use the eraser on the end of a pencil to get the wire pushed into a position that is more comfortable. If you are unable to get the wire repositioned, use a piece of gauze, a cotton ball or orthodontic wax to cover the end until you can visit your orthodontist’s office. Don’t ever cut the wire, since you could end up breathing it up into your lungs or swallow it.
Loose bands and bracket. Reattach loose braces temporarily using orthodontic wax. Or the wax can be put over the braces for cushioning. Visit your orthodontist as soon as you can. If you have a loose band, hold onto it and give your orthodontist a call to get an appointment for it to be replaced (as well as any missing spacers replaced) or recemented.
Abscess. Abscesses are a kind of infection that take place around a tooth root in the space that is in between your gums and teeth. Abscesses are a very serious condition that may damage teeth and tissue with an infection and if left untreated might potentially spread to other areas of your body.
Due to the serious general health and oral health problems that an abscess can cause, you need to visit your dentist as quickly as possible any time your gums have a pimple-like painful swelling. Until you can get to the dentist, to draw pus out towards the surface and ease your pain, try to use a mild salt water solution to rinse your mouth out with several times per day (8 ounces of water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt).
Soft-tissue injuries. These can include injuries to the lips, gums, cheeks and tongue, and bleeding may result. Do the following to help control the bleeding:
Use a mild salt-water solution to rinse your mouth with.
Place a tea bag or moist piece of gauze onto the bleeding area. Hold for 15 to 20 minutes.
To relieve pain and control bleeding, a cold compress can be placed on the outside of the cheek or mouth for 5 to 10 minutes on the affected area.
If the bleeding continues, visit your dentist or the emergency room immediately. Keep applying pressure with gauze on the bleeding area until it has been treated.
Hadi is the owner of:
Knutsford Road Dental
144 Knutsford Road, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 6JP
01625 403 673