You have plans to head out to watch the Spurs dazzle on the court, but that’s halted by pain that radiates throughout your jaw. You have a toothache that demands immediate attention, but you’re not quite sure what to do. Read on as your dentist in North Central San Antonio explains what to do for this and other types of dental emergencies.
How to Respond to a Dental Emergency
If you find yourself in a situation where you are suddenly experiencing intense pain, have profuse bleeding or you’ve lost a tooth, then it’s considered a dental emergency. For any type of trauma, the first step is to remain calm, and then reach out to your dentist’s office to speak with a trained staff member.
Still, there are specific actions you can take for different types of emergencies to stabilize the situation until you can be seen by your emergency dentist.
For a Toothache, Do This
The first step for getting temporary relief from a toothache is to attempt to floss around the digit where the pain is located. You can then take an over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen to calm the discomfort. If there is any swelling, apply an icepack to the outside of your jaw in 10-minute increments.
How to Respond to a Knocked-Out Tooth
If a tooth is dislodged, take the following steps:
- Clean your hands thoroughly.
- Grab the tooth by the crown (the wider part), and carefully reinsert it.
- If it’s not possible to reinsert the tooth, then place it in a cup of milk to ensure the roots stay alive.
Addressing Oral Bleeding
If you receive a laceration to any of the soft tissues in your mouth, you can gently bite down on a cotton gauze in the area. For bleeding that persists for more than 10 minutes, you should immediately head to your local emergency room.
Responding to a Fall or Facial Trauma
A blow to the face or a bad fall can result in intense pain. If this happens, you should immediately head to the emergency room for care.
Lost Your Restoration (Crown or Filling)?
When you lose a dental restoration, your tooth is left vulnerable to food particles and bacteria causing major problems. After washing your hands, grab the dislodged restoration and apply either a dollop of toothpaste or dental adhesive, and reinsert it. Be careful not to chew any food on that side of your mouth.
A dental emergency is no fun, but, unfortunately, it can happen at any time. Thankfully, by knowing how to respond and getting the care you need from the professionals at Legacy Dental SA, you can soon recover and restore your normal oral function.
About the Author
Dr. Brian L. Eck earned his dental degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, and he has gone on to practice comprehensive dentistry for the last 35 years. Throughout his career, he’s seen and successfully treated a host of emergency dental situations at Legacy Dental SA. To get the expert care you need to recover from your dental trauma, contact Dr. Eck through his website.