A dental emergency can strike any time. Slipping and falling, biting down on a pit, getting tackled in football… all of these are easy ways to find yourself with a dental emergency. The main priority anytime an emergency happens to the mouth is to get to the dentist. Failure to see your dentist in a timely fashion can make the issue much worse. For example, getting a chip or crack fixed on a tooth is relatively easy, but letting it go can allow bacteria to cause an infection in the tooth and you will need a root canal to try and keep the tooth viable.
Before you get to the dentist, there are also several steps that can be taken to reduce pain as well as help make the situation better. Here are a couple of the most common dental emergencies and how you can improve the situation:
- Tooth knocked out: A knocked out tooth should only ever be touched by the cap or crown. If the root of the tooth is dirty, it can be rinsed with water, but avoid touching it. If the tooth can be reinserted into the socket without pain, this is beneficial, but never force it. Other options to keep the tooth viable are to keep it between the gum and teeth or in a small container of milk.
- Crown or filling fell out: Crowns should always be saved since they are custom made dental appliances that can be reattached. Denture adhesive is a great option for temporarily reattaching the crown, but should only be used temporarily. Fillings can’t be reattached by can be helpful to show to the dentist if you are able to keep it. The main priority is to keep the area clean of debris to avoid infection, so rinse with salt water to keep it clean.