November 26, 2022

Embarking on our day-to-day tasks at home and work often makes us unaware of the possibility of dental emergencies that may suddenly happen, without us having the prior knowledge of dealing with certain scenarios. In this article, we will tackle the importance of practical remedies and cautionary measures involving dental emergencies.

Toothaches

One common fault of people who experience toothaches is they think that brushing the tooth and thoroughly gargling with cold water will alleviate the pain. In fact, this may only worsen the pain because the bristles of the toothbrush may burn the gums. It is more effective to floss the teeth and rinse the mouth with warm water to ensure that the gums and the teeth are rid of any bacteria latched onto them. Tightly pressing the gums is also one common mistake people make. If you are experiencing toothaches during the day, it is better to not take a nap, because lying will increase the blood flow to the affected area, thereby inflicting more pain on the tooth.

If the toothache is persistent, it is better to go see your dentist and get a thorough examination to know if the aching tooth has a sill or crack and is in need of immediate composite filling. The more you self-medicate the tooth, the higher the chances of it getting worse.

Chipped/Broken Teeth

Chipped teeth are often caused by slipping on the floor and landing face-first on the concrete. Bleeding will automatically ensue from the damaged area because of the sustained impact. But before proceeding to rinse your mouth, retrieve the chipped pieces of your teeth and see your dentist as soon as possible. Apply cold compress on the lips or other areas affected by the impact before proceeding to the dentist.

Knocked Out Tooth

Having a tooth knocked will require proper handling and care, as well as quick thinking. If you suddenly got an entire tooth knocked out, hold it by the crown, not by the root. Immediately rinse it off of any foreign bacteria from the surface it fell into. Do not scrub or brush it, because regenerative tissues are still intact on the root. If you think that it can be reinserted to its socket, do so by carefully aligning and reattaching it. If that doesn’t work, put it in a clean container of milk or a glass of water with a pinch of table salt. The procedures mentioned above should take 10 to 15 minutes of your time. Again, don’t stutter to worry. Dedicate the next half hour into going to the nearest dentist. Don’t wait in line. Tell the secretary that it’s an emergency and that your tooth has been knocked off. Fallen teeth have significantly higher chances of being salvaged if taken to the dentist an hour after being knocked off.

Objects Caught In-between Teeth

Again, in situations like these, the common remedy of people is poking out the object trapped in-between the teeth by using a sharp object. This is not how it should be done. First and foremost, use dental floss to effectively dislodge the stuck object. If that does not work, see your dentist. Any subsequent poking will only cause reparation of the tooth surface.

Lost Filling

Though highly improbable in most cases, suddenly losing entire dental fillings is no rare occasion in the field of dentistry. Eating extremely hard-to-chew foods can rip out the entire dental filling, causing acute pain. In cases like these, you should cover the exposed area with sugarless gum or better yet, if there’s clinic nearby, buy over-the-counter dental cement to ensure maximum protection for the tooth before you proceed to the dentist.

Broken Brace Wires

Wire braces use tough, stainless steel metal that can’t be cut by mere kitchen shears alone. If the wires suddenly stick out, be as careful as possible in repositioning the wire back to its original position. Better yet, see the orthodontist who installed your braces to avoid any possible damage on your gums. Cases like these are normal especially when one gets tempted to eat prohibited foods for brace-owners. Mouth sores are also set to follow within three days if left unattended.

Loose Brackets

Use the same treatment as broken wire braces: try to revert the bracket back to its original angle before going to the orthodontist. If that doesn’t work, place orthodontic wax to act as a cushion on the area of concern. Also, use the other side of your mouth when chewing as the bracket may fall off if you use the teeth where it is attached to. Don’t leave a loose bracket unattended, as the pulling power of the braces may be impeded.

Abscess

Abscesses take time to develop into a ripened state. On the onset of a pimple-like swelling on your gums, immediately consult the dentist for possible medications that will contain the swelling.

If the abscess is already there, do not puncture it to prevent any further infection. Instead, rinse your mouth with a mild salt water solution as many times as you can in the course of the day to draw the pus into the surface. Leaving an abscess unattended may yield gingivitis, or worse, periodontitis.

Soft-tissue Injuries

To deal with accidents that cause bleeding of the cheeks, gums and lips, first, rinse the mouth using a mild salt-water solution; afterward, insert a moistened piece of gauze or a tea bag into the affected area and hold it in place for 20 minutes; then proceed by applying cold compress on the outside of the affected area (f.e., cheeks, muzzle) for as long as 10 minutes. If the bleeding persists, go to a hospital or dental clinic to get professional attention.