Dental Emergency: What to Know, What to Do, What to Avoid

Dental Emergency: What to Know, What to Do, What to Avoid
Woman having a toothache

mn Nobody wants to deal with a dental emergency – it’s literally and figuratively a huge pain to experience. Bleeding, swelling, intense pain and damaged teeth are typically what constitute a dental emergency, and each of these situations can easily send anyone into a panic, which never helps.

When you are faced with a dental emergency due to an accident, the most important thing to do is to work against your nerves first. By staying calm, you will be able to think more clearly and logically. At the same time, you will be able to take the smart steps to control the situation.

Female Dentist talking with lady patient

What to Know, What to Do and What to Avoid

When it comes to having the right approach to dental accidents or emergencies, there are only three things to focus on: 1) what dental situations are considered real emergencies, 2) what the best ways of handling the emergency are, and 3) what you should not do.

To help you stay on top of these three crucial factors, we have prepared an easy guide for you to follow.

What to Know

Not all dental issues are dental emergencies. However, we believe that anything that is causing you great discomfort needs immediate professional dental attention. If you are dealing with a dental issue that is preventing you from functioning properly, the smart thing to do is to seek out your dentist’s help right away.

What the professional dental world considers a dental emergency is any dental problem that can turn from bad to worse, and worse to worst in a short period of time.

One prime example of a dental emergency is a broken jaw. This requires emergency dental care because the pain can be excruciating. Plus, a broken jaw will make it nearly impossible for a person to speak, eat and even swallow. And most importantly, there is the risk of further serious damage if not protected properly.

Another dental situation that is considered an emergency is when there’s swelling of the face. Swelling is an indication of a serious infection and any type of infection should be given urgent treatment. Patients have died as a result of spreading infection which is not surprising given the close proximity of the mouth to the brain and airway.

What to Do

Time is always of the essence when dealing with dental emergencies and truly the most important thing to do is to have an emergency dentist handle the situation. However, you need to manage the problem from the occurrence of the issue to the trip to the dental clinic. Here are the first-aid solutions to implement for common dental emergencies.

●  If there is bleeding – stop it ASAP.

Cut gums, tongue or lips, or a knocked off or displaced tooth can cause a lot of bleeding due to the rich supply of blood around the mouth. You can stop the bleeding by rinsing the affected site with water and applying a cold compress.

Another thing you can do is to place thick cotton gauze on the injury and bite on it until the bleeding ceases.

●  If there’s swelling – treat it with a cold compress.

A cold compress can help the swelling to subside. Likewise, it can numb the pain that usually accompanies swelling.

●  For a broken jaw – immobilise it.

Immobilise a broken jaw by applying a bandanna from underneath your jaw to the top of your head. Go to an emergency dentist immediately – a broken jaw is a serious emergency, so have a professional attend to it as soon as possible is a must.

●  For a knocked out tooth – put the tooth back in the socket.

Putting the tooth back in place when possible can help with restoration. This needs to be done the right way to preserve the tooth. When handling the knocked out tooth, these are what you need to remember:

– Do not touch the root of the tooth.
– Clean the tooth if it’s dirty by holding it by the crown and using milk or saline solution to gently rinse off the dirt.
– If you can’t put the tooth back yourself, place the tooth in a container with milk or your saliva in it.

For a severe toothache – keep your mouth clean.

Brush, floss and rinse with warm water and salt. This will control bacterial action in your mouth.

What to Avoid

There are big no-nos when dealing with a dental emergency, and they are the following:

●  Avoid overdosing on self-medicating.

Turning to excessive over-the-counter medication should be avoided. Pain relievers, particularly, may lead to adverse side effects such as thinning of the blood. Recommended dosages and time intervals should be followed.

●  Avoid overexerting yourself.

It is important to limit movement because overexerting yourself can increase the pressure of blood flow to your injury.

●  Avoid unnecessary movement if you have a broken jaw.

Stop trying to speak if you have broken your jaw. Just stay put because unnecessary movement may aggravate the situation.

●  Avoid the ER if possible.

It is better to get in touch with your dentist and go for an emergency dental appointment instead of rushing to the ER. The hospital emergency room is not the best place for treatment; the staff usually will still need to find an available dentist to attend to the problem.

In the case of a broken jaw, however, taking the patient to the emergency department of a hospital is advised.

Knowing the right way to handle a dental emergency can make a huge difference in your oral health. To get more information or to seek quick help on your emergency dental concerns, contact the 247 Dental team today.