The concept of “dental emergency” is foreign to most people. In fact, dental emergencies happen more often than most people think. Studies have shown an increase in the number of dental-related emergencies in the United States in recent years.
Going to routine dental checkups plays an essential part in preventing these dental emergencies. On the other hand, should you be confronted with a dental emergency, it is imperative that you contact your dentist and get treated immediately. Keep in mind, time is of the essence in these situations; delaying a much-needed dental appointment or treatment may lead to further complications and more expensive treatments.
7 Day Dental has trained and experienced emergency dentists in Orange County, California who can attend to your needs. As our clinic is open all year round (365 days), you can count on getting the treatment you require when it matters and without delay. Don’t wait and suffer in pain before an emergency dentist comes to your aid. Call us and get the immediate dental care you need ASAP.
In case of a dental emergency, it is imperative that you stay calm. Next, see an emergency dentist right away. Remember, dental emergencies, especially those involving trauma to the jaws, gums or teeth, demand immediate expert care and treatment. Delays in addressing these emergencies may lead to complications or permanent damage to the areas involved. Additionally, treating these cases later on can mean bigger expenses on your part as they would require costly treatments.
Listed below are various dental emergencies and what to do in each case.
Any trauma to the jaw that involves pain, swelling and inability to open the mouth is a dental emergency which merits immediate attention. Hence, if you suffer any jaw trauma, it’s imperative that you see your dentist as soon as possible. If it’s a case of a broken jaw, it is important that you secure your jaw in place. You can do this by tying a towel, handkerchief or any piece of cloth around the jaw and over the top of your head. To control any bleeding and/or swelling, put an ice pack on your face near the affected area for not more than 20 minutes.
At the clinic, the dentist will take a panoramic x-ray of the entire jaw to look for any cracks. Also expect an oral surgeon on standby should there be a need to repair your jaw.
Child’s Baby Tooth: Immediately call the dentist! Chances of re-implanting a completely knocked out baby tooth are slim. The typical course of action for this case is to wait for the permanent tooth to grow.
Permanent Tooth: It is imperative that you see your dentist right away as delays decrease the chances of putting back the tooth. Typically, to successfully re-attach the tooth, the procedure must be done in an hour or two. However, here at 7 Day Dental, we have experienced success in putting back a knocked out tooth 24 hours later. It is important to note though that, apart from seeing the dentist right away, certain steps need to be observed to ensure the success of the procedure.
* First thing you should do is to stop any bleeding from the gums. To do this, rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it. Apply pressure on the area using gauze pads. Instead of using your fingers to apply pressure, you may opt to bite on the gauze. See your dentist immediately if bleeding doesn’t stop after 10 minutes. Meanwhile, to minimize swelling, apply something cold and compress on the affected area.
* Next step is to find the tooth. Only hold it by the crown. Try to put the tooth back into the socket by holding it gently in place and trying to bite down. However, the better option is to immerse the tooth in a glass of milk (or water with a pinch of salt) and let the dentist do the re-attachment procedure as soon as possible. Should the tooth or root be dirty, clean it but make sure you do not scrub it nor clear out any attached gum tissue on the root.
A chipped tooth is rarely a dental emergency. Fact is, you may opt to see your dentist a few days after the incident. However, taking precautions, particularly being extra careful when chewing, is essential not to damage the tooth further. While a chipped tooth does not result in bleeding of the gums or tooth displacement, it may trigger an irritation in the tongue or cheek due to the chipped edges.
To remedy the problem, your dentist may try to restore the normal contour and protect the pulp of the tooth by placing a crown or dental filling on it.
Situations involving cracked or broken teeth are different. They are dental emergencies. When faced with this kind of situation, the first thing you must do is to stop any bleeding in the gums by rinsing your mouth with warm water and applying pressure on the area with clean gauze. If the incident is caused by facial trauma, apply something cold, and compress the affected area can lessen any swelling. Taking acetaminophen may be done to ease the pain.
In case of a broken tooth, locate the broken piece or pieces of the tooth and immediately put it in a glass of milk or water. See your dentist immediately! Remember, in this case, it’s not wise to delay your dental appointment especially if you experience sensitivity or
pain. Oftentimes, sensitivity is an indication that there is an exposed root. When left untreated, this can result in root damage. Consequently, a damaged root would require a root canal therapy.
A lost filling may be accompanied by pain. This is due to ‘dental tubules’ or dental nerves being exposed and coming into contact with air. To relieve the pain, apply a little clove oil on the sensitive area. Placing an ice pack on the painful area may also help.
Meanwhile, if you still have the filling, put it in a safe place and bring it to your dentist. To rid yourself of discomfort, get a tooth wax or cement from the pharmacy and use it to fill the hole in your tooth.
For cases involving a dislodged crown, try to slip the crown back into its place until you see your dentist. How should you do it? Start by cleaning the inside of the crown and removing any debris present. Next, coat the crown’s inside with tooth dental cement (available in a pharmacy) and slip it back in place. Other alternatives to dental cement are denture adhesive and toothpaste. Do NOT use other household adhesives or glues. These products aren’t safe to put in your mouth and may damage the tooth and crown.
Keep in mind, the aforementioned things are just temporary solutions. It is still imperative that you see your dentist immediately when confronted with these situations.
Take the necessary steps to ensure that your mouth is clean. Rinse thoroughly with warm water. Floss to get rid of any food lodged between the teeth or under the gum line. Take prescribed pain medications. If the ache persists, contact your dentist right away.
This is usually easily resolved with the help of flossing. However, should your attempts to dislodge the debris fail, do not hesitate to enlist the help of your dentist.
A cut less than ¼ inch typically heals on its own. To ensure the healing of the affected area, you can rinse your mouth with warm salt water. This helps keep the mouth sanitize and prevents further problems brought about by bacteria getting into the sore area. Rinsing every 20-30 minutes on the first day is highly recommended. Continue rinsing as often as possible until the wound completely heals. Applying cold compress on the affected area may also minimize swelling.
On the other hand, it’s best to see your dentist immediately when faced with the following situations:
While sores and blisters resulting from eating very hot food typically heal on their own, they usually cause discomfort. To ease the pain, you can take acetaminophen. Another option is to apply a topical oral anesthetic on the affected area. To keep the area clean, rinse with warm salt water after every meal. If the sores or blisters do not heal after 10 days, give your dentist a call.
Gum pain or swelling may indicate the presence of an abscess (infection) in the gum tissue or the tooth’s root and its surrounding areas. This condition should be brought to the attention of your dentist immediately as severe infection or abscess in the mouth can be life-threatening. Furthermore, identifying the underlying cause of the pain, swelling or abscess requires thorough dental examination.
A ruptured abscess is usually followed by a sudden flow of malodorous and foul-tasting fluid. Should you experience this, immediately rinse your mouth with warm water.
Try to push the wire flat against the tooth with the help of a Q-tip or a pencil eraser. If repositioning the wire isn’t feasible, you can just opt to cover the end with dental/orthodontic wax which you can purchase over-the-counter at the pharmacy. Lastly, give your orthodontist a call.
Use sterile tweezers and attempt to put the rubber ligature back in place. Schedule an appointment with your orthodontist.
Seek immediate medical intervention. Go to the hospital emergency room and get treated!
This is not a dental emergency and can easily be resolved with the help of a dental floss, a toothpick or an interproximal brush.