Few things are worse than the sudden crack and electric shock of pain when you suddenly damage a tooth. While it’s possible to chip or break a tooth as you eat your lunch, it’s much more common for serious tooth damage to occur from an accident or injury. A friend who accidentally swings their elbow as you walk up behind them could leave you with a sudden and unexpected gap in your smile. When a dental emergency strikes, take quick action to relieve your pain and increase the chance of restoring your smile.
Perform First Aid on Yourself
If the tooth has come loose, save it by cleaning it off with cool water. Tuck the tooth into the space between your gum and cheek if you can, recommends the Academy of General Dentistry. If that’s not comfortable or safe, drop the tooth into a cup of contact solution or milk to buffer it. Either liquid will prevent the root cells from dying if they’re still intact. Avoid scrubbing or brushing the tooth, which can damage it and make re-attachment impossible. Rinse your mouth with a little lukewarm water, but don’t stuff anything into the opening where the tooth was.
Call the Dentist
It’s important to see Dr. Evanson within the hour if possible when you have a fractured or knocked out tooth. Placing a tooth back in its socket will only succeed if the dentist completes the process before the anchoring root cells die. If Dr. Evanson isn’t available, call another emergency dental provider in the Denver area until you find one with an opening. This should also be your first action if you have a major fracture in a tooth, a chip or looseness around the root.
Reattach Loose Fixtures
Crowns, dental implants, bridges and veneers can all come loose during regular dining, leaving you with an exposed tooth or broken surgical post. Fillings can also come out when chewing gum or sticky sweets. You can find dental adhesives at any drug store and temporarily reattach the loose fixture to your tooth. These adhesives don’t provide the strongest bond, so be very careful with what you eat until you can get to the dentist, which you should try to do within 24 hours to more permanently reattach the equipment. Skipping the dentist for days or weeks only stands to cause serious damage to the rest of your mouth.
Take a Painkiller
Mouth injuries that involve cuts in the cheek or knocked out teeth often bleed profusely. It’s best to spit out the blood and avoid rinsing too much, which can make it hard for a clot to form and stop the bleeding. Once a clot is formed, be careful which type of painkiller you take. Aspirin also functions as an anti-coagulant and will only cause the bleeding to start again. For this reason, you should choose ibuprofen to deal with the pain and swelling without resulting in excessive blood loss.
If you don’t want to deal with the pain and stress of a damaged tooth, avoid certain risky behaviors and invest in a few pieces of special equipment. Chew your food slowly and avoid chomping down with force on hard or chewy items. Don’t attempt to open packages or tear tape with your teeth when scissors will handle the task. Always wear a mouth guard when playing contact sports. You may also want to invest in a custom night guard to wear while sleeping. This minimizes damage caused by grinding your teeth in your sleep.
If you experience a dental emergency, don’t wait for the condition to worsen. Contact Evanson DDS online or call us at (720) 409-0008 to schedule an emergency appointment.Leave a reply →