Dental Emergencies and How to Handle Them
The mouth may well be the most versatile part of the human body, as it is capable of the most functions including eating, drinking, speaking, breathing and even gesturing. Accidents are a common part of life and those that affect the mouth area can make life difficult for any person. For this reason, immediate dental treatment should be sought in the event of such occurrences. Attempting to hold off a trip to the emergency dentist may put one at risk dental compilations resulting in costly treatment options.
The teeth are among the body parts that have the greatest number of sensitive nerve endings. As such, any injuries or changes in the mouth often cause severe pain. Also, because of its level of moisture and temperature, the mouth is an ideal place for the growth of all kinds of germs, due to which it is constantly under the threat of infection.
Do You Have a Dental Emergency?
In all cases, preventing further problems is the first step to optimal dental health and it starts with seeing an emergency dentist. Some of you may not be completely sure on what exactly amounts to a dental emergency. Herein are the instances where emergency dental treatment is necessary as well as simple first-aid procedures you can undertake prior to the visit to the hospital.
Many people report that toothaches are one of the worst pains they have ever felt. It is, therefore, the first indicator that something is wrong. The first thing to do is rinse the mouth with warm water to clean out any food particles that may be lodged in the cavity or between teeth.
Wrap some ice in a cloth and place it on the outside of the cheek. You can also use a cold compress. It is important to note that using heat or placing aspirin to alleviate a toothache is highly inadvisable.
Bitten Lip or Tongue
Use a clean cloth to apply direct pressure on the bleeding areas. If there is any swelling present, apply a cold compress to the area after cleaning it with warm water. If the bleeding fails to stop within 15 minutes then treatment is required immediately.
Objects Wedged Between Teeth
Attempt to remove the object using dental floss. This should be done slowly and carefully to avoid cutting the gums. If using dental floss is not successful, call the dentist. Never try to remove lodged objects using sharp or pointed objects.
Rinse the mouth with warm water in order to clean the area. If there is any swelling, place a cold compress on the face to reduce it. Contact the dentist as soon as possible. All of the broken tooth fragment should be located and brought to the dentist if possible.
Avulsed (Knocked-out) Tooth
Attempt to locate the lost tooth immediately. If the tooth is found, it should be handled by the crown (top part) and not the root section. Rinse it gently with cold water then place in a preservative solution. If it is a permanent tooth, it can be put back in its socket and held in place. See a dentist immediately.
Possible Fractured Jaw
The first sign of a possible broken jaw is the upper teeth not being in proper alignment with the lower ones when the mouth is closed. If this is observed, do not move the jaw. Swelling is imminent and can be controlled with the application of a cold compress. This injury requires an immediate trip to the emergency room.
A dental abscess is a small swelling on the gums that is moderately painful. Treat it with warm salty water. Due to serious infection risks, a case of a dental abscess warrants a visit to the dentist.
Lost Dental Filling
In case dental fillings are lost, they can be temporarily replaced with dental cement or sugarless gum. Dental cement is also effective in fixing loose dental crown. However, they should be replaced by a dentist.
It is best to avoid dental emergencies as much as possible. A good number of these dental injuries can be prevented with proper oral health care and protection. These include;
· Daily tooth brushing.
· Adopting dental hygiene techniques.
· Regular dental visits.
· Wearing a mouth guard when playing sports.
· Avoid chewing hard food items.
· Exercise the chewing muscles with raw foods.
· Avoid opening packages with teeth.
· Reducing sugar intake.
While proper oral care and regular visits to the dentist enable early detection and prevention of potentially problematic dental conditions, accidents can still happen. In any case where you may need immediate dental attention, feel free to contact us.