When you suffer an injury to your teeth, gums or any other part of your mouth, it is important that you get quick help. Although oral lesions do not always involve severe pain, visible damage or noticeable bleeding, you should not ignore a dental emergency. It could elevate to the extent of losing a tooth or an infection in the oral tissues; causing a problem to your general health.
What should you do before you get to the dental clinic?
Some dental emergencies should be treated in a dental clinic, while others are resolved better in a hospital. In any case, here are some useful tips to deal with dental emergencies until you get medical help.
1. Severe dental pain/Toothache
Rinse your mouth with hot water and floss to remove food trapped between your teeth. If the pain persists, or you develop a fever, call your dentist. You may also take anti-inflammatory analgesics (like Advil or Ibuprofen) to alleviate any discomfort and reduce inflammation. Do not put an aspirin or apply any medication directly to your teeth or gums.
2. Avulsion of permanent teeth
Rinse off your mouth with warm water to clean the area, but avoid scrubbing or removing any attached fragments. Try repositioning the tooth in its socket by gently holding it in place with a clean piece of gauze, tea towel or face cloth. If you are unable, put the tooth in a glass of milk or your mouth, as saliva will help keep it moist and not lose its properties. Also, hold the tooth by the crown; to avoid root damage. A knocked-out permanent tooth can be saved, but time is of the essence. Visit a dental clinic as quickly as possible. Getting immediate treatment can make a huge difference to your dentist's ability to preserve your tooth.
3. Broken or cracked teeth
Rinse your mouth with water and use ice to reduce swelling in the injured area. Find and save the broken pieces of tooth and visit your dentist immediately. If not treated, the problem could get complicated over time.
4. Loose tooth
If the tooth only moves slightly, place it gently towards its correct alignment and hold it in that area with a damp cloth. Do not force the tooth into the alveolus. Try getting dental care in the next 30 minutes. Primary teeth can loosen due to an emerging permanent tooth or injury. If this happens, try to have your child bite into a piece of apple or caramel– separating a primary tooth from the gum can be easy. If this doesn't work, make an appointment with your dentist to get professional help.
5. Severely bitten lip, tongue or cheek
Cover the cut with a wet cloth. To decrease swelling or bleeding, apply cold compresses. If the bleeding is severe, visit a hospital immediately.