A trip and fall, a touch tackle while playing sports, biting down on an olive pit… dental emergencies can come from anywhere and can happen when you least expect it. While the majority of dental emergencies will require a trip to the dentist, there are certain steps that can be taken before you get to the dentist that can help you and your tooth.
A severe toothache is usually an indicator of a larger issue such as a cavity, root canal problems of a fractured tooth. The sooner you get a toothache looked at, the better, since you may be able to stop a small issue before it eventually becomes a large one. To alleviate the pain associated with a toothache, get an over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen. When the pain medication makes the tooth feel better…that is not an excuse to not visit the dentist!
When a crown falls out, it is very important to save it! Crowns are made for each person and can be expensive to replace. Fillings cannot be reused, so it is less important to save them. For both issues, it is important to protect the part of the tooth that is now exposed in order to prevent more issues from occurring. Keep the area sanitized and clear of debris by rinsing with warm salt water. Crowns can be temporarily reattached with denture adhesive too.
When a tooth is completely knocked out, there are a few things to do right away to help the tooth survive. Never touch the tooth by the roots, only touch the crown and clean the roots with warm water if needed. To keep the tooth alive, keep it in a small container of milk or tucked between the lip and gums.
Remember: the longer you wait to get a dental issue taken care of…the more difficult it can be.