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How to deal with a dental emergency?

Dental emergencies as a result of an accident or trauma can occur at any time and you would want to get relief as soon as possible. Knowledge is the key to handle the first few minutes of a dental emergency and determine the fate of your tooth. Whenever a dental emergency strikes, it is crucial to have a presence of mind, think actively and follow an agile approach which can further help you protect your oral health.

Also, if you ever land up in a dental emergency situation, you must turn to an emergency dentist for help who can help save the tooth in time. Emergency dentistry deals with all kinds of oral health complications that require immediate attention and treatment. 

Do all oral injuries require Emergency Dentistry?

Dental injuries can be of various types. While some require immediate attention others do not require an immediate visit to the dentist and can be treated at home. However, for one to analyze whether his or her injury falls under an emergency case can be misleading. Some cases that fall under Emergency Dentistry include:

  • Oral infection
  • Damage to pre-existing dental work
  • Broken, Cracked or Chipped Teeth
  • Sports-related injuries or an incident that involves head trauma
  • Excruciating toothaches
  • Broken or dislocated jaw
  • Knocked out tooth 
  • Lip or tongue bite

Tips on handling some dental emergencies

Dental emergencies can get a little panicky when you see your loved ones in pain. But one needs to be calm in this situation and be aware of what to do in order to control the damage till the time you reach out to your dentist. Here is a small guide that will help you understand how to deal with common dental emergencies.

  • Tooth Pain

If your toothache is a normal one, you might just rinse your mouth with warm and salty water and spit it out. If possible use dental floss to remove any food particles stuck in between the teeth as they can increase the pain. You can also take an over the counter pain medication to ease the pain and apply ice if the pain is accompanied with swelling. But if you are experiencing excruciating pain which is unbearable, you must visit an emergency dentist who is around the corner who can help you provide immediate toothache relief. 

  • Knocked out tooth 

A tooth that has been knocked out completely by a blow to the mouth can be extremely painful and requires immediate attention. But if you happen to find the broken tooth and its intact, then store it in a glass of milk until you meet the emergency dentist. This shall prevent the root from drying out and can help in restoring the lost tooth. The tooth, if put back in its place within 20 minutes of breaking also increases the chances of restoration. Make sure to do the latter properly and only if the person with a broken tooth is conscious.

  • Cracked or Chipped Teeth

A chipped or cracked tooth is a dental emergency only if you are experiencing a great deal of pain or bleeding or if the incident has left sharp fragments that are causing discomfort inside your mouth. If the tooth is chipped but does not hurt as much, then you can wait to see your dentist. Until you meet the dentist, avoid putting pressure on the damaged teeth and eat or drink from the other side of the mouth. 

  • An infection from oral surgery

Quite often, after going through an oral surgery, one can develop infections and may experience fever, swelling and trouble while swallowing and breathing. In some cases, you might also have an allergic reaction to your anesthetic. If any of these signs are noticed, one should reach out to an emergency dentist immediately or else the infection can spread deeper into your jaw and surrounding tissues and even to other areas of your body.

Broken jaw 

A broken jaw or dislocated jaw is a common facial injury that impacts the TMJ joint that connects your lower jawbone to the skull. The TMJ can break, crack or become unhinged as the result of a direct force or trauma to the jawbone. A few incidents that can result in this kind of facial trauma are road accidents, physical assault, fall or sports related injuries. A fractured or dislocated jaw can create problems while eating and breathing and one must reach out to the emergency dentist immediately to stop bleeding within the mouth and minimize the complications. 

How to avoid oral injuries?

As said, prevention is better than cure, and thus preventive dentistry practices are regarded as the best way of keeping a mouth healthy. Below are a number of precautions to venture into to avoid dental emergencies.

  • To avoid sports injuries always prefer wearing a mouthguard and a helmet. 
  • Hard items like candies and ice cubes should not be chewed too often all of which can crack a tooth 
  • Make sure your children don’t run around with sharp objects in their mouth such as toothbrush, pencils or broken toys with sharp edges as their gums are too soft
  • Never use your teeth to cut or open things and use scissors only to open packaged items. 
  • Visit the best dentist in your vicinity every 6 months to make sure your teeth are healthy and strong. 

Dental emergencies can happen anytime but knowing how to handle a dental emergency can save your permanent tooth. The best way to avoid any dental injury is to take good care of your oral health, follow strict oral hygiene and appropriate precautions.

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