Crucial Tips for Handling Dental Emergencies
Health emergencies are frightening when they happen to people around you, leave alone when they happen to you. In a split second, you could have a small problem escalate into a rather life-threatening situation. This is why it is necessary to take health emergencies with as much urgency and seriousness as possible.
In dentistry, the same kind of logic should apply. Dental emergencies also have the potential of escalating and progressing into severe and critical oral problems that threaten your entire oral health as well as your overall body health.
What Is A Dental Emergency?
It is an oral condition that poses urgency and severity. Usually, dental emergencies are heightened in severity, so that the symptoms you experience are extreme and frightening. While very few dental problems become life-threatening, dental emergencies have more urgency than typical dental issues.
The specialty of emergency dentistry, therefore, exists for the sole purpose of attending to the urgent and rather severe dental problems that patients have. Unfortunately, many patients only solicit the aid of a dental expert when they have an oral emergency.
What Counts As A Dental Emergency?
In most instances, you will have a gut feeling that you require urgent care for your dental issue. However, some of the defining symptoms a dental emergency include the following:
- Excruciating pain in any part of your mouth.
- Excessive bleeding in your oral cavity
- Missing tooth or teeth
- Fractures and broken parts of your mouth
- Foreign objects stuck in between your teeth
- Allergic reactions manifesting in your mouth or as a result of foods you have eaten
How Should You Handle Dental Emergencies?
The first obvious response you are likely to have when you have a dental emergency is panic. While this is a normal response, you should work to ensure you remain calm as you work to resolve the matter at hand.
When you have an oral emergency, there are a couple of things you should do:
- Contact an emergency dentist near you – this gives you a better chance at getting speedy treatment for your oral problem. Besides, once you are sure you have a hold of a dental expert, you are likely to be more relaxed as the rest of your day unfolds.
- Contain the bleeding – many oral emergencies are accompanied by bleeding. Use a clean cloth to apply some pressure on the bleeding area so as to control the blood loss.
- Alleviate your pain – even though you may not be in a position to treat the underlying cause of your pain, you can find ways to manage it. This can range from taking over-the-counter pain relievers, to using cold or hot compression. Even the posture you adopt for your head can help ease the pain. At that moment, work toward reducing the pain levels as you make your way to a dental ER.
- Find and preserve the missing tooth – even though the pain and bleeding are likely to clutter your mind, be intentional about locating your missing tooth. If you can find your tooth, preserve it and get to a dentist in good time, your dentist may very well restore your tooth. When you find the missing tooth, avoid touching its root to prevent spreading bacteria there. Rinse it is clean water. The idea is to keep it moist at all times. You can then dip it in milk as you make your way to a dentist as fast as possible.
- Rinse your mouth with warm salty water – this works great for when you have a wound in your mouth, or even for a cracked tooth or toothache. The water will rinse out any active bacteria in your mouth and remove any loose food residues thereof.
- Use Dental floss to dislodge foreign objects – there is a temptation to use sharp objects when you have a foreign object in between your teeth. This is a bad idea. Instead, try to dislodge the object with dental floss. If you do not succeed, stop trying to move the object until you get to a dentist. The last thing you want is to push the object further up into your gums in between your teeth.
Even though there are a couple of things you can do when you have a dental emergency, ensure you do them in moderation. The most important tip is to contact a dentist near you as quickly as possible.