Dental Emergencies: What to Do

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Dental emergencies can be stressful and painful situations that require immediate attention. It is important to know what to do in the event of a dental emergency so that you can take the necessary steps to alleviate pain and prevent further damage to your teeth and gums.

Here are some common dental emergencies and what to do in each situation:

  1. Toothache

A toothache is a common dental emergency that can range from mild to severe in intensity. It is usually caused by tooth decay, a cracked or broken tooth, or gum disease. To alleviate a toothache, you can try the following:

  • Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it out and remove any food particles that may be stuck between your teeth.
  • Use dental floss to gently remove any food particles that may be stuck between your teeth.
  • Take over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) to help reduce the pain.
  • Apply a cold compress to the outside of your cheek to help reduce swelling.

If the toothache persists for more than a day or is accompanied by fever, swelling, or difficulty swallowing, you should see a dentist as soon as possible.

2. Chipped or broken tooth

A chipped or broken tooth can be caused by biting down on something hard or by trauma to the face. To alleviate pain and prevent further damage to the tooth, you can try the following:

  • Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area and remove any debris.
  • Use dental floss to gently remove any food particles that may be stuck between your teeth.
  • If the tooth is broken but still attached to the gums, try to place it back in its socket. If you are unable to do so, place the tooth in a cup of milk or saliva to keep it moist.
  • Apply a cold compress to the outside of your cheek to help reduce swelling.

If the tooth is severely broken or has been knocked out, you should see a dentist as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can try to retrieve the broken tooth pieces and bring them with you to the dentist.

3. Lost filling or crown

A lost filling or crown can occur due to decay, injury, or wear and tear. To prevent further damage to the tooth, you should see a dentist as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can try the following:

  • Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area and remove any debris.
  • Use dental floss to gently remove any food particles that may be stuck between your teeth.
  • If the filling or crown is still in one piece, you can try to reattach it using over-the-counter dental cement or toothpaste. Be sure to follow the instructions on the package carefully.

If the filling or crown is lost or severely damaged, you should see a dentist as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can try to retrieve the filling or crown pieces and bring them with you to the dentist.

4. Gum injury

A gum injury can be caused by trauma to the face or by biting down on something hard. To alleviate pain and prevent further damage to the gums, you can try the following:

  • Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area and remove any debris.
  • Apply a cold compress to the outside of your cheek to help reduce swelling.
  • Take over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol)

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