• 15 AUG 19
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    Common Dental Emergencies

    Young woman holding jaw in pain on a yellow background

    You never know when you or a family member will experience a dental emergency, but it’s important to understand which emergencies are most common and how you can prepare for and treat them. Toothaches, broken wires and knocked-out permanent teeth are some of the many dental emergencies that are painful and need to be treated quickly. While it’s important that you see a dentist as quickly as possible after a dental injury, you still need to know how to treat yourself and your teeth while you’re on your way to the office. Find out what the most common dental emergencies are and how to treat them with these tips!

    Dental Emergencies To Watch Out For

    Our teeth are the strongest substance in our bodies, but they can still be damaged by decay, injury and trauma. Many of us will experience a dental emergency at some point during our lives, but most don’t know what necessitates an “emergency” and how to go about it when one does occur. Dental emergencies are common and usually can be remedied quickly, but it’s still important to know how to recognize one and what to do about it beforehand so that your teeth and oral health aren’t put in jeopardy. Common dental emergencies include toothaches, broken teeth, knocked-out teeth, broken braces and/or wires, cut lip or cheek and a broken jaw. All of these injuries are serious in their own way and should be treated as quickly as possible. These injuries necessitate the help of a dentist, while other issues, like a canker sore or bleeding after a baby tooth falls out, can be treated at home. Any of these issues can occur at any time in any place, so it’s vital that you know what things to avoid and what to do if you ever experience a dental emergency.

    What To Do During A Dental Emergency

    Little boy with a bleeding lip and his mother providing first aid to him.

    For starters, it’s okay if you’re not completely prepared for a dental emergency, but try your best to follow these tips to prevent further injury from occurring. A toothache may not seem insidious, but it can indicate decay or disease. First, make sure to clean around the aching tooth to remove any food particles or plaque. Apply a cold compress to the area and take acetaminophen to reduce pain. Call your dentist and schedule an appointment as soon as you can so that he/she can determine where your pain is stemming from and treat it. If your tooth gets knocked-out, continue to keep it moist until you get to the dentist. Try putting the tooth back into the socket, if you can, without touching the tooth root. If that doesn’t work, put your tooth in milk or in a tooth preservation liquid that you can buy at your local grocery store or pharmacy. Your tooth can only survive for so long outside of your mouth, so get to the dentist as soon as possible. For broken braces or wires, do not pull out the wire if it is stuck in your gums, cheek or tongue; get to your orthodontist or dentist as quickly as you can so that they can safely remove it. If it is causing you pain, try putting wax, gauze or cotton balls on the protruding edges to prevent further injury. Only remove any orthodontic appliance from your mouth if it comes out easily.

    If you break or chip a tooth, it is only recommended to seek emergency care if a large part of the tooth is missing or nerve damage has occurred. For minor chips and injuries that don’t hurt, it’s okay to wait until normal business hours to call your dentist. Cutting your lip, cheek or tongue can be painful, but it, too, is usually only a minor injury. Use a clean cloth or gauze to apply pressure to the bleeding area for 15 minutes. If the bleeding doesn’t stop after that time, make sure that you go to the emergency room because excessive bleeding could indicate a deeper or more serious wound. If you believe that you have broken your jaw, tie your mouth closed with a towel or handkerchief and go immediately to the emergency room. 

    Steps To Take To Avoid Injury

    You won’t always be able to avoid an injury, but there are steps that you can take to protect your teeth as much as possible so that the likelihood of something happening is much lower. Many patients get injured while playing contact sports or during some type of physical activity. While it may not seem popular to do so, wearing a mouthguard is a great way to protect your teeth from trauma and avoid knocked-out teeth and oral lacerations. To avoid broken or cracked teeth, try not to chew on ice, hard candy or popcorn kernels. These foods are notorious for chipping teeth and just aren’t worth the cost of an emergency dental visit. If you ever need to cut anything open, never use your teeth; by tearing things with your teeth, you increase your chances of cutting your mouth, breaking a tooth or damaging nerves. Always use scissors to cut things instead of your teeth.

    Even though dentists are very busy, they usually reserve certain times throughout the day for same-day emergency appointments. Call your dentist if you have experienced any of the aforementioned dental emergencies to see if they can squeeze you into one of those reserved spots. Most will be able to get you in even if those spots are already taken, so call ahead before rushing to the emergency room.

    Protect Your Teeth With Our Help!

    If you have a toothache, a chipped tooth or have experienced any type of oral trauma, call Dr. Evanson at (720) 409-0008! Dr. Evanson and her staff are experienced with remedying dental injuries and can help you save your teeth to maintain a beautiful smile. Protecting your teeth should be a priority so that you can preserve your oral health for years to come. Call today for more information!

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