Certain injuries to the teeth and gums require emergency dental care.
Accidents happen, and especially if you have children, you’ll know that a fall or sports injury can cause serious damage. But what kinds of injuries constitute a dental emergency? Read on to find out more about oral injuries and when you should seek treatment immediately.
What are some common mouth injuries?
Some of the most common oral injuries include knocked out, broken and cracked teeth. These injuries often occur as a result of a sports injury or a fall, but can also happen if you bite on something particularly hard. If your tooth is chipped, it is generally fine to wait until you can get an appointment with your dentist during normal business hours, but if you see a large crack, experience severe pain, or your tooth has been completely knocked out, we recommend that you see your dentist as soon as possible.
In some cases, a toothache can be a dental emergency, particularly if you experience severe sharp pain. Toothache can be caused by a number of issues, including an abscess, an infected tooth, and inflammation in the teeth and gums. Get in touch with your dentist if you are suffering from significant discomfort.
What should you do in a dental emergency?
If your tooth has been knocked out, try to keep it moist while you arrange to get to the dentist’s office. If it is possible, you can try and place the tooth back into the socket, but if you are not able to do so, keep it either between your cheek and gums or in a little bit of milk. If your tooth is only partially dislodged, it’s important that you see your dentist as soon as possible. An over-the-counter pain killer can help reduce discomfort, and a cold compress may also help.
If you have a cracked tooth, it’s a good idea to rinse your mouth out with some warm water. This will help to clean the affected area. If you notice any swelling in your face, use a cold compress to minimise discomfort on the way to the dentist.
For a chipped tooth, try and save any pieces that have fallen out. Rinse your mouth with warm water and if you are bleeding, apply some gauze to the injured area until it stops. A cold compress can help to soothe the pain until you are able to get to the dentist.
In the case of a severe toothache, you can also rinse your mouth with warm water to clean your mouth, floss your teeth to remove any food particles that may be stuck, and then make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible.
How can I avoid a dental emergency?
It’s not always possible to prevent accidents, but if you or your children play sport, we highly recommend the use of a mouthguard. Chat to your dentist about having one customised for your mouth to ensure that it fits correctly and that you are properly protected.
We also encourage our patients to avoid biting and chewing on very hard foods like certain candies, ice, and popcorn kernels, as these items can cause serious damage to the teeth. Also, don’t use your teeth to open the packaging — this can also cause chips and cracks.
The best way to avoid severe toothache caused by oral health issues like infection and inflammation is to practice good oral hygiene and to come in and see us regularly. Regular dental check-ups for both you and your children can help to avoid tooth loss and other major dental problems. During a check-up, we are usually able to identify complications early and resolve them at an early stage.
To find out more about our emergency dental services, or to make an appointment for a check-up, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.