Most dental problems develop over time; they may be the result of poor oral hygiene habits, genetic issues, or system medical conditions. However, tooth trouble sometimes occurs suddenly and unexpectedly. When such issues spring up out of the blue, what should you do to relieve your pain and save your smile from further damage? Here is some useful advice on how to handle a dental emergency.
Evaluate the Situation — Is It an Emergency?
Being able to recognize a dental emergency is the first step toward properly handling the situation. Here are some common situations that require prompt action:
- One of your tooth got knocked out or knocked loose
- You have a severe toothache
- You lost a crown or filling
- You have an abscessed tooth
- You suffered a jaw injury or are experiencing excessive oral bleeding
Call Your Dentist
Once you’ve determined that you are facing a dental emergency, it is important that you call your dentist as soon as possible. Describe the situation and follow any recommendations your dentist provides. They may urge you to do one of three things:
- Head to the dentist’s office right away. Receiving immediate care is important if you suffered a trauma that knocked out a tooth. If you see your dentist within an hour or so of the incident, it’s possible that they’ll be able to reattach your poor pearly white.
- Schedule an appointment within the next day or two. If your situation isn’t so urgent that it requires immediate attention, your dentist may give you some advice on how to deal with your pain and mitigate the damage to your tooth until you can come in for your appointment.
- Visit the local ER. If you suffered a jaw injury or are experiencing excessive oral bleeding, it may be best to head to the emergency room before you visit your dentist.
Care for the Tooth
Between the time the dental emergency starts and the time you arrive at your dentist’s office, there may be some steps you can take to care for yourself. Mild painkillers may relieve some of your discomfort. Be careful not to place the painkillers directly on your gums; you don’t want to accidentally cause chemical burns. You should also avoid chewing on the side of your mouth that is in pain. Ice may be able to reduce swelling.
If one of your teeth got knocked out entirely, handle it only by the crown (the top part) and keep it moist in milk or water until you get to the dentist.
Are you facing a dental emergency? Please take fast action so you can find relief from your pain and save your smile from devastating damage.
About the Dentist
Dr. Erick Anderson has been practicing dentistry for well over a decade. His experience and extensive education enable him to handle dental emergencies with poise, precision, and compassion. If you need immediate dental care, please contact our office at 719-593-0988.