Dental emergency may occur to anyone at any time. The American Dental Association recommends familiarity with a few dental emergencies, in case you come across a situation at home or work.
Common dental emergencies include toothaches, knocked out teeth, broken teeth, bitten lip or tongue, problems with braces and retainers, things caught between teeth, or a broken jaw.
- Knocked out tooth
When a tooth is knocked out, you must rinse it with cold running water. Keep in mind not to scour it. Do not try to remove any tissues or fragments attached to it. Then insert the tooth in its socket and hold it there for a while. Go immediately to your dentist. Till you reach your dentist, you can keep the knocked out tooth in water or milk. The tooth can be stored in water for 15 minutes, in saliva for 30 minutes and milk for 60 minutes. There are greater chances of the tooth being retained if the tooth is reinstated within five minutes of the accident. Dentists call a knocked out tooth ‘an avulsed tooth’.
- Broken tooth
Teeth are strong by nature. They are supposed to last a lifetime. But sometimes they do chip, break or get injured. If the injured area is dirty, rinse it with warm water. You can use cold compresses to reduce swelling. If you find the piece of broken tooth, take it along with you to the dentist.
- Bitten tongue or lip
Rinse the injured area with cold water. Take a soft washcloth and apply pressure the injured area. Apply cold compress if possible. Go to the hospital emergency if bleeding is too much and cannot be stopped with applied pressure.
Any kind of injury to the gums or teeth can be very painful. Call your dentist immediately. Do not apply aspirin or any ointment to the aching tooth. Rinse your mouth with warm water. Remove food particles trapped between teeth by flossing. Do not use toothpicks or paper to remove food particles from between teeth. Take over the counter pain killer till you are able to see your dentist.
- Problems with retainers and braces
Call your orthodontist immediately for an appointment when a wire in the braces causes irritation. Cover the end of the wire with cotton ball or gauze. If a wire is penetrating a cheek, tongue or gum tissue, do not attempt to remove it. If you find a broken pieceIf a wire is causing irritation, cover the end with a small cotton ball, beeswax or a piece of gauze, until you can get to the dentist. If a wire gets stuck in the cheek, tongue or gum tissue, do not attempt to remove it. Go to your dentist immediately. If an appliance becomes loose or a piece of it breaks off, take the appliance and the piece and go to the dentist.
- Objects Caught Between Teeth
It is common to find food particles lodged between gums and teeth. Do not try to remove the object with a sharp tool. You can use floss. Try to manoeuvre the floss so that gums do not get injured. See a dentist if you are unable to remove the object with flossing.
- Dental emergency while travelling
Check yellow pages or search online for a dental society in the place you are. The dental society will help you find the dentist you can go to. Or go to a nearby hospital emergency room to get immediate treatment.
The above are some common dental emergencies. Hopefully, now you know what to do if it ever happens to you.
If you need an emergency dentist in Sydney, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our dentist as soon as possible.