Is it Urgent? Identifying True Dental Emergencies
Timing is important with all dental emergencies because a lack of action can possibly translate into something worse developing down the road. Our Canton, MI, emergency dentists are dedicated to being ready when you need us most.
Here’s how to tell(and what isn’t), plus ways you can prevent more from happening.
Emergencies vs. Non-Emergencies That Can Wait
As soon as any type of pain is felt in your mouth, it can be easy to label it as an emergency. While it is wise to ask our dentists about discomfort you may be feeling, not everything is severe enough for a visit.
Urgent dental emergencies include:
- Knocked-out tooth
- Broken or cracked tooth
- Abscessed tooth
- Persistent or severe toothache
- Soft tissue injuries (to cheeks, gums, tongue, or lips) that result in bleeding
Are you experiencing one or more of the above? Call our Canton, MI, dental office right away and our team may evaluate your teeth and gums. Appropriate treatment will then be determined to alleviate your condition.
Home Remedies to Try Prior to Your Visit
It goes without saying that ais best treated by our dentists. But how should you manage the situation until you are able to be seen? Here are steps you should follow for a handful of dental emergencies.
- Find the tooth and grab it by the crown (top).
- Rinse the tooth off with warm water if it’s dirty. Do not scrub.
- If possible, face the tooth the right way, then try to put the tooth back into the socket. Baby tooth? No need for this process.
- If not possible, try holding the tooth in your mouth as you travel to our office or placing it in a container of milk.
- Call and arrive at our office within 30 minutes of your tooth being knocked out to increase its chance of being saved.
Broken or Cracked Tooth
- Save any pieces of the tooth.
- Rinse your mouth with warm water and rinse any broken pieces of tooth.
- Apply gauze to the area if there is bleeding.
- Apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth, cheek, or lip to keep any swelling down.
- Call our office ASAP.
- If you discover a pimple-like swelling on your gum that is painful, contact our office immediately. You may have a dental abscess.
- Until you’ve been seen, rinse with a mild saltwater solution several times a day (½ tsp. of salt in 8 oz. of water) to ease the pain and draw the pus toward the surface.
Prolonged or Severe Toothache
- Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean out any food debris.
- Floss gently to remove any food caught between teeth.
- Do not put aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues.
- Take over-the-counter ibuprofen as needed for pain relief.
- Call our office ASAP.
Preventing Future Dental Emergencies
For the most part, dental emergencies are unpredictable. Yet, there are a few easy precautions you can take in your everyday life to save yourself from injury.
- Don’t Give Up on Daily Oral Hygiene
- Have a Mouthguard Over Teeth for Certain Sports
- Eat Harder Snacks Wisely
Don’t Give Up on Daily Oral Hygiene
A great place to start is to regularly practice good oral hygiene habits. This means brushing your teeth at least twice a day with a soft bristled toothbrush and flossing daily. It’s a bonus if you integrate an ADA-approved mouthwash into your routine to combat dental plaque. Remember to also schedule a teeth cleaning for every 6 months!
Related Post → Understanding the Basics of Flossing
Have a Mouthguard Over Teeth for Certain Sports
If you play contact sports in your free time, our dentists recommend wearing a protective mouthguard. When you put one on, you are shielding your teeth and absorbing intense hits to your mouth. Mouthguards are an inexpensive way to prevent costly dental damage.
Types of sports or recreational activities that call for mouthguards include but are not limited to football, basketball, soccer, rugby, and lacrosse.
Eat Harder Snacks Wisely
It’s enjoyable to munch on popcorn during a movie or drink an ice-cold beverage on a summer day. What’s not so fun is a broken tooth. The good news is that a broken or chipped tooth can be avoided if you refrain from chewing on kernels, ice, or hard candy. It can be hard to break a habit of this nature, but your teeth will thank you!
Always Take Dental Pain Seriously
If you are in any kind of pain that is not subsiding with at-home methods, please call our office immediately. Our staff will do their best to get you in as quickly as possible to avoid the passage of critical time.
We urge you to not ignore dental pain or tooth damage. Delaying treatment can negatively impact your oral health and increase your risk of long-term complications.
Depending on how severe your condition is, we may recommend that you first go to a nearby emergency room. If for any reason we are unable to treat you right away or you have sustained injuries in addition to your mouth, please visit the ER.