Injury to the teeth or gums, if left untreated, can be harmful and lead to exasperated symptoms, complications, and more intense treatments. Choosing to delay treatment can also increase the risk of permanent damage. Often, people are uncertain of what to do when they experience a dental emergency. The best thing to do is recognize you are having a dental emergency and visit your dentist as quickly as possible.
Here are some scenarios where you should seek dental care as soon as possible.
Thoroughly rinse your mouth with warm water. If there are any lodged food particles, use dental floss to remove it with care. You may apply a cold compress to the surface of your mouth and cheek for the swelling.
When to see your dentist when having a toothache:
- If the pain lasts for more than two days
- If you have trouble breathing or swallowing
- If the toothache is accompanied by a fever
- If there are indications of infection, such as pain while eating, red gums, swelling, or a foul-tasting discharge.
A knocked-out tooth has the highest probability of being preserved if immediately handled by the dentist and returned to its socket within an hour of being knocked out. In trying to recover the tooth, here are some guidelines:
- Locate the tooth immediately, and hold it by the crown. The crown is the portion exposed in the mouth.
- Clean the tooth root with water if it’s dirty. Do not remove or scrub any attached tissue fragments.
- Try to put the tooth back in its socket. Make sure that it’s facing the right way when reinserting it. Do not force it.
- If it’s not possible to reinsert the tooth, put it in a small container of milk or in your mouth next to your cheek.
- Consult with a dentist as fast as possible.
Gently rinse your mouth and see your dentist as soon as possible. As a temporary measure, mold dental wax to fit into the cavity. Avoid chewing using the affected part of your mouth, and take pain-relieving medications to help with pain symptoms. See a dentist as soon as possible to get the filling replaced.
Broken Braces or Wires
If a wire breaks and it’s hurting your cheek, try to use a Q-tip or the eraser end of a pencil to navigate the wire into a more comfortable position. If you can’t move the wire, cover the end with relief wax, a small cotton ball, or a piece of gauze. Try to go to your orthodontist as quickly as possible. Please do not cut the wire, as you could end up swallowing or breathing it in.
Abscesses are infections that occur around the root of the tooth or between the teeth and gums. It’s a condition that can damage your gums and surrounding teeth. It can also spread to other parts of the body. You should see your dentist as quickly as possible if you discover signs of an abscess, which include warmth, redness, or swelling in the area, a visible buildup of pus under the affected skin, and a fever.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissues, which include the cheeks, gums, lips, and tongue, may incur injuries that result in bleeding. Here are actions you can take to manage the bleeding:
- Rinse your mouth with cold water.
- Hold a cold compress to the affected surface of the mouth or cheek (if possible) for 5 to 10 minutes to control the bleeding and soothe the pain.
- Consult with your dentist right away if the bleeding doesn’t stop. Proceed to apply pressure on the area with the gauze.
Comprehensive Dental Care in St. Paul, Minnesota
Dental emergencies can be harmful if left untreated. It can potentially create lasting effects on your health. Therefore, it’s crucial to see a dentist when you experience one.
Offering comprehensive dental health services, Hagerman Dental Care has been helping patients in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota since 1983. If you would like to learn more about our cosmetic, restorative, pediatric, or general dentistry services, or to make an appointment, call (651) 646-2392. You can also request an appointment online.