As much as we try to keep our teeth clean and protected, accidents do happen. When you have a dental emergency, you need to get in to see a dentist as soon as possible. If a dentist is not available to see you, you may need to go to the emergency room. Always call your local dentist first to find out if an emergency appointment is available. The following are some of the most common dental emergencies and what you should do until you can get in to see the dentist!
When You Break or Chip a Tooth
If you break a tooth off or chip a tooth, it’s important to try and find all the pieces. After you find all the parts of your tooth, put them in a glass of milk to keep them moist—this is very important as it will help keep the tooth alive and not let the roots and nerves die.
Call your dentist and take all the pieces with you. If you’re able to see the dentist in about 30 minutes, he or she may be able to reattach your tooth. For tooth chips or fractures that are seen after this time period or are in tiny pieces, they may not be able to be fixed and you may need another solution.
If You Have an Injury
Injuries to your face or jaw should be evaluated by your dentist, especially if it involves your teeth or jaw. If you have an accident or injury that results in loose teeth, get yourself to the dentist as soon as possible.
Your dentist can also take x-rays of your jaw to determine if any damage is present. If your jaw is misaligned from the injury, this could result in problems with your temporomandibular joint and your teeth. Your dentist can evaluate the injury and treat problems before they happen!
When a Tooth Is Knocked Out
If one of your teeth is knocked out of your mouth, do your best to find the tooth. It’s helpful to have gauze handy so that you can staunch the bleeding from your tooth’s socket. Once you find the tooth, take the tooth and gently put it back in the socket. If you can, bite down to hold it in place. A knocked-out tooth is absolutely an emergency and should be seen by a dentist as soon as possible. The sooner you see a dentist, the greater the chances of saving the tooth are. If you can’t put the tooth back in its socket, put the tooth in a container with either milk or saliva and take it and any pieces with you to the dentist.
If You Have a Severe Toothache
Toothaches often don’t happen instantaneously—they build up over time to get to the point where you just can’t stand the pain anymore. At this point, the toothache would be considered a dental emergency and you should see your dentist soon. You could have an abscess from a tooth infection or tooth decay. For severe toothaches, rinse your mouth with warm salt water and schedule an appointment with your dentist to find out what the problem is!
When you have a dental emergency, your dentist is the best person to help fix the problem. Ask your dentist about their emergency care policies and the likelihood that they’d be able to see you on an emergency basis. You can be prepared for dental emergencies by keeping gauze, a small container, and the number of your dentist in a kit in your house or car!
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