Whether you are playing backyard football and knock heads with another player or are practicing some wrestling moves after visiting the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum in Wichita Falls and knock a tooth loose, accidents can happen when you least expect them. Acting fast during a dental emergency can make the difference in saving or permanently losing a tooth. Would you know what to do? Here is a helpful guide on steps you can take to prevent further damage and pain in case of a dental emergency.
What is a Dental Emergency?
A dental emergency is an accident or trauma to the mouth that results in minor to serious injury or pain. When a dental emergency occurs, it is important to see a dentist as soon as possible – if left untreated, conditions in your mouth can worsen and even lead to tooth loss!
Be sure to call a dentist if you experience any of these true dental emergencies:
- Dislodged or partially-dislodged tooth
- Chipped, cracked or broken tooth
- Persistent toothache
- Injury to the gums or soft tissue in the mouth
- Pain and swelling in the face
- Lost crown or filling
How to Act Fast in a Dental Emergency
If you have suffered any of the dental emergencies listed above, there are steps you can take on your own to prevent further damage and ease the pain until you can arrive to the dentist’s office. For example:
- Dislodged tooth – Hold the tooth by the crown (not the root) and try to place it back in its original socket. If this fails, place the tooth in a small, secure container filled with milk and immediately head to the dentist’s office.
- Swollen face – A swollen face can be an indicator of a serious dental infection. Stay upright – even when sleeping – and stay hydrated. Most importantly, don’t delay a trip to a dentist – it is possible to die from an infection in the mouth.
- Toothaches – Clean your mouth by rinsing with warm water and take an over-the-counter pain medication to reduce inflammation.
- Cracked or broken tooth – Collect and rinse any broken pieces of your tooth and bring them with you to the dentist’s office. Use a cold compress to reduce any swelling.
- Bleeding from the mouth – If the blood appears when brushing or flossing, this could be a sign of gum disease. If you have a laceration inside your mouth that is causing heavy bleeding, rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to relieve swelling.
While you may not be able to control when accidents happen, you can control how you respond. Follow the advice above in case of a dental emergency to help preserve your dental health.
About the Author
Dr. Shelly Strohman has over a decade of experience providing high-quality dental care to families and individuals in Wichita Falls. Along with her expert team, she stands ready to give patients the immediate attention they need in case of a dental emergency. For more oral care tips, visit the Strohman Dental website or call Dr. Strohman at 940-613-0299.