What to Do When a Dental Emergency Occurs

January 1, 2021

Injuries to your teeth, gums, soft tissues, and other dental emergencies shouldn’t be ignored. They are serious and need urgent dental care. Ignoring a dental accident can potentially put your oral health at risk and lead to other costly dental treatments.

Dental emergencies can occur at any time, and knowing what to do after they happen can make all the difference. Besides seeking our emergency dental services, there are steps that you can take to minimize pain, bleeding, swelling, and increase the chances of saving your teeth. In this post, we highlight four urgent dental emergencies and what to do when they occur.

1. Knocked teeth

Knocked-out teeth are the most common dental emergency. The teeth mostly get knocked out during sports or after an accident. This happens when the mouth comes in direct contact with an object. The teeth can get loose or completely dislodged from the socket.

When this happens, the first step is to contact our emergency dental in Encinitas. And, ensure you come to the clinic within an hour after the accident occurs. It is easy for the dentist to save your teeth if the treatment is started early. Additionally, you can do the following:

  • If the tooth is partially knocked out, pick it up by the crown (the chewing surface) and try to push it back to the socket. Handle the tooth properly, and avoid touching the root.
  • If the tooth is completely dislodged, rinse it gently with water. Avoid using chemicals or soaps, and do not scrub the teeth. Also, do not dry it out or wrap it in the paper.
  • Put the tooth in your mouth on the cheek (if possible), or store it in a milk solution to keep it moist. Do not use water because it will destroy the cells.

If the primary teeth prematurely get knocked out, do not push them back to the socket. This can interfere with the growth and development of the jaw. However, bring the teeth with you when you come to the dentist for an examination.

2. Toothache

Toothaches, though common, are not idiopathic, meaning they have a cause. Tooth pain can be caused by decay, fractured tooth, or impacted teeth. Mild toothache can be caused by food stuck in between the gums. And, they can be handled at home. However, if you have sharp and persistent tooth pain, then you need emergency dental care.

As you come for your treatment, try:

  • Rinsing the mouth with warm water
  • Floss to remove the stuck food particles
  • Apply a cold compress on the cheek to reduce swelling
  • Avoid using pain medication unless advised by the emergency dentist. Some of the pain medications can cause gum inflammation and worsen the situation.

3. Bleeding gums and mouth

The mouth is good at preventing bleeding, rarely will you notice blood from minor cuts or bruises. When you see blood in your saliva, it is a sign of serious problems. Gums can bleed at times when you brush aggressively with a hard toothbrush. But the bleeding is mild and never causes any problem. However, when you notice persistent bleeding with no cause, then it is a sign of gum disease. It is crucial to seek immediate dental treatment to stop the bleeding.

Biting a gauze pad for 15 minutes can help slow down the bleeding. Also, try rinsing your mouth with warm salty water to ease discomfort.

At times your soft tissues, found in the cheeks, lips, and tongue, can get bruised. This can also cause bleeding. These injuries are not urgent unless the bleeding is uncontrollable. Use a gauze pad or tea bag to stop the bleeding

4. Dental abscess

A tooth abscess occurs when there is an infection at the root or in between the gums. The bacterial infection causes inflammation and accumulation of pus (abscess). If not treated early, the infection could spread to surrounding tissues and cause inflammation. It is important to get emergency dental care when you notice a pimple in the gums.

In the meantime, use warm water with salt to rinse the mouth to keep it clean. Do not try to pop the pimple as it could cause pain and other complications.

Final Thoughts

Visit Sinclair Smiles for treatment if a dental emergency occurs.

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