Dental emergencies can be frightening and painful. Unfortunately, many dentists are not open on weekends or late at night, making it hard to get the care you need. Even if you can find an open dentist, they may not be able to treat you right away. In some cases, it can take days or even weeks before you can get an appointment.
Therefore, knowing what to do can help you take the proper steps to manage your pain and protect your teeth. Here are four simple ways how you can handle dental emergencies.
What are the leading causes of most dental emergencies?
Dental emergencies can be frightening and painful, but they are rarely life-threatening. They can, however, cause long-term damage to your teeth. Knowing the common causes of dental emergencies can help you handle the pain.
Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in the mouth interact with sugar and form acid. This acid erodes the enamel of the tooth, creating cavities. If left untreated, tooth decay can cause severe damage to the teeth, gums, and underlying bone.
If you experience a tooth fracture, seeing a dentist as soon as possible is essential. A dentist can assess the damage and determine the best course of action. Depending on the severity, a dentist may be able to repair the fracture with a filling or a crown.
A root canal may be necessary to save the tooth in more severe cases. Without prompt treatment, the fracture can worsen, leading to infection and further damage to the tooth and surrounding tissue.
Trauma to the teeth or gums can cause dental emergencies. This can include a direct physical blow to the mouth, such as being hit in the face, or an indirect trauma, such as grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw. A traumatic injury can cause the tooth to crack, chip, or be knocked out.
If you experience a dental emergency due to accidental trauma, it is important to seek help from a qualified dentist as soon as possible. Kumra Orthodontics, a top-rated orthodontist in Stafford, VA, understands that dental emergencies can happen anytime, especially due to accidental trauma. That’s why they are here to provide you with prompt and expert care when you need it most.
Handling a Dental Emergency
Handling a dental emergency can be a stressful and frightening experience, but it is important to remain calm and take the necessary steps to stop the bleeding. Knowing how to respond to a dental emergency can save you time, money, and potentially even a tooth.
Stay Calm and Stop Any Bleeding
It is important to remain calm during a dental emergency. Panic will only make the situation worse. Take a few deep breaths and focus on the steps you need to take to stop the bleeding.
Look inside the mouth and determine the extent of the injury. If there is a lot of bleeding, use clean gauze or a towel to put pressure on the wound and stop the bleeding. If the bleeding continues, seek emergency dental care.
Clean The Area Around The Affected Tooth
Cleaning the area around the affected tooth can help reduce the risk of infection and further damage. This helps to remove any debris or food particles that may be lodged in the area. It is important to be gentle while rinsing the mouth and not use harsh scrubbing motions.
You can use warm water or a clean saline solution to clean the affected area of your mouth.
Apply a Cold Compress to Reduce Swelling
Choose an ice pack, a cold gel pack, or a bag of frozen vegetables (such as peas). If you don’t have access to any of these, a bag of ice cubes wrapped in a towel will also work. Place the compress on the affected area for no more than 20 minutes at a time. Taking the compress off after 20 minutes is essential, as leaving it on for too long can cause tissue damage.
You can apply the compress as frequently as needed, taking 20-minute breaks between applications. Never use direct ice or a heat source on an affected area, as this can cause further injury.
Take a Pain Reliever
Taking a pain reliever is often the best way to ease the discomfort, but you should know a few things before you take one.
It is important to speak with your dentist before taking any pain reliever. Your dentist can advise what type of pain reliever is best for your situation. Depending on the severity of the dental emergency, your dentist may recommend a stronger pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Make sure to take the correct dosage as listed on the label. Taking too much pain reliever can be dangerous and have serious consequences.
Most Important: Visit Your Dentist as Soon as Possible
When you experience a dental emergency, visiting a dentist as soon as possible is essential. Neglecting a dental emergency can lead to further damage and more costly treatment. If left untreated, dental emergencies can lead to infection, which can cause permanent damage to your teeth and gums.
A dentist can assess the extent of the damage and provide the necessary treatment to restore your oral health.