Dental emergencies can happen any time. Most of these emergencies can become a menace if not treated properly on time. Others do not require immediate attention but still need a careful evaluation by a dentist. Therefore, it is essential to know what to do when you experience a dental emergency.
What are dental emergencies?
It is essential to know what a dental emergency is before you can take care of it. Some conditions may feel like an emergency, but they usually aren’t, and therefore you need an effective system to identify when to contact a medical professional ASAP.
Here are some of the symptoms that warrant an emergency visit to a dentist:
- Any facial swelling
- Dental pain that is not resolved with over the counter pain relievers
- Dental pain that keeps you up at night
- Mouth ulcers that don’t heal fully after two weeks
- Excessive bleeding after any dental procedure
- A broken tooth that causes excruciating pain and damage to cheeks and gums
Any of these symptoms are a clear indication to head over to your dentist immediately. It is also important to identify situations that don’t require an emergency evaluation. For example, biting your tongue or your lips accidentally may cause immense pain, but they usually don’t warrant an emergency visit. Simple cold compressions should be able to resolve your symptoms almost immediately.
Important steps to take during a dental emergency
While every emergency is handled differently, some initial steps are common to all of them. These include:
- Controlling the bleeding if any
- Applying pressure over the injured area
- Collecting any fragments of a broken tooth, if any
- Avoid talking or eating to minimize further damage
- Contacting your emergency dental care provider
- Heading over to or calling someone to take you to a nearest dental clinic
Emergency management of common dental problems
Broken tooth – broken teeth are prevalent, especially during fights. You should always look for any broken tooth fragments and collect them to take to the dentist. Clean the area with warm saline water and control the bleeding using a cold, clean cloth. Head over to the dentist as soon as possible.
Total loss of a permanent tooth – injuries that result in complete loss of a permanent tooth are more severe. Find the tooth if possible. Try to fit the broken tooth back into it’s position to stop the bleeding. Make sure only to touch the crown of the tooth. If you cannot place it back, put the tooth in milk and head to the dentist immediately.
Excruciating dental pain – take some over-the-counter pain relievers. Clean the mouth with an antiseptic solution or saline water. Apply cold compresses and head to the dentist.
Jaw injuries – jaw injuries are immediately apparent as they present as distorted or an unbalanced jaw. Try to keep your mouth as still as possible in whatever position it feels most comfortable. Head over to the dentist as soon as possible.
Eager to learn more about dental emergencies? Need an emergency dental evaluation? River Valley Smile Center is the place to go. Give us a call at 479.646.0706 to book an appointment, or visit our website and check out our Facebook!