Unfortunately, accidents happen. And although it’s sometimes impossible to prevent a dental emergency, it is possible to be prepared if one does occur. Read on to learn what to do for a few of the most common dental emergencies:
- Cracked Tooth
- Lost Permanent Tooth
- Loose Filling or Crown
If you crack your tooth, don’t panic–we can fix that! An untreated crack can lead to a toothache and nerve damage, so visit us ASAP so we can determine its severity. Small cracks may be a quick cosmetic fix, but very serious fractures may require a crown or root canal therapy. Rinse your mouth out with warm salt water to gently clean the affected area. Ease any tooth pain with a cold compress, over-the-counter pain relief medication, or dental anesthetic, or seal the area with a temporary filling material found at most drugstores. Additionally, avoid consuming foods and drinks that are very hot, cold, acidic, sugary, or hard, which can cause tooth sensitivity.
If your whole tooth has been knocked out, time is of the essence to save it! It’s best to get to our office within 30 minutes of the injury. Handle the tooth only by its crown (the chewing surface), rinse it with water or milk (do not use soap or rub it with a towel), and then try to return the tooth to its socket. Gently bite down on it or hold it in place with clean fingers. If you can’t get the tooth back in the socket or feel uncomfortable trying, keep the tooth moist by placing it between your cheek and gums, in a glass of milk, in a tooth preservation kit, or in a container of your saliva.
If a filling or a crown comes loose, remove it (if you can) to protect yourself from swallowing or breathing it in. Call our office for the earliest possible appointment to protect your tooth from decay and further damage. Plus, you may find yourself experiencing pain and sensitivity now that the tissue is exposed. Like for a cracked tooth, avoid consuming foods and drinks that are very hot, cold, acidic, sugary, or hard to minimize discomfort. If you can’t see us immediately, consider coating your tooth with a dental cement or dental wax as a barrier against bacteria.
Tips to Avoid Dental Emergencies
Now that you know how to deal with a few alarming scenarios that can affect your teeth, here are a few tips to help you avoid these traumas all together:
- Wear a custom-fitted mouthguard when participating in sports
- Wear a custom-fitted nightguard if you grind and/or clench your teeth while you sleep
- Never use your teeth to rip tags or open packaging
- Avoid hard foods like ice and hard candy
If you do have a dental accident, call us ASAP here at Spanaway Dental Wellness!Contact Us