Dental emergencies can feel terrifying. Will you lose your tooth? Will you need surgery? Will you be able to get to the dentist with enough time to solve the problem?
In this blog, Meriem Boukadoum, DDS at 54th Street Dental discusses five common dental emergencies and what steps you should take to preserve your oral health.
How to handle five common dental emergencies
Though dental emergencies of all kinds can occur, five of the most common are knocked-out teeth, cracked or chipped teeth, toothaches, a bitten tongue or lip, and a foreign object stuck in the mouth or in between teeth. It’s imperative that you take the following steps until you reach our office.
1. You knocked out a tooth
You should keep the tooth moist. If you can, rinse it off gently and place the tooth back in its socket, but be sure not to touch the root with your fingers. If you can’t put it back or it’s too painful to do so, you can place the tooth between your cheek and gums or place it in a small container of milk or in a tooth preservation solution approved by the American Dental Association.
2. You chipped a tooth
You should immediately rinse your mouth with warm water. If there's any swelling, sensitivity, or soreness at the site, place a cold compress on your face to minimize swelling and pain. Don’t bite down on anything with the chipped tooth.
3. You bit your lip or tongue
You should clean the area thoroughly. If you can tolerate it, put slight pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding. You can also apply a cold compress to reduce any swelling or pain.
4. You have a toothache
You should first check to see if you can locate the cause of your toothache. Use floss to remove any food between your teeth, and rinse out your mouth with warm water. If nothing appears to be the cause, try to remember if you may have done something to bring on the pain. Did you bite down on something hard?
5. Something got stuck in your mouth
If you have something stuck in your mouth, you should avoid using any sharp tools to remove the object. If the object is food, you can try gently flossing to get it out. If it’s not something you can remove with floss, use a cold compress to help reduce the pain until you get to one of our offices.
If you are experiencing a dental emergency, head to our office as soon as possible. If possible, call ahead to alert our staff that you are coming in.