Dental Emergency: An Overview
Most people agree that there is not much that can compare to the stress and upset caused by a dental emergency. They are painful and frightening, and rarely can we actually address them without professional support. That is why Dr. Norkiewicz of Rockville Dental Arts in Rockville, MD offers these tips for helping our patients deal with a dental emergency of almost any kind.
First and foremost, always remember that your teeth are not designed to be used like tools. Don’t pry things open with them or use them to break up hard foods or candies. This is a common cause for dental emergencies easily avoided by remembering that teeth are for chewing your food!
If you do sustain damages to a tooth, and realize that you are in the midst of a dental emergency, it is likely to be just one of two things. It will be damages to a tooth as already indicated, or it can be that you have hurt the soft tissue of the mouth.
Let’s look at the first type of dental emergency – a damaged tooth. This can mean that you have broken or chipped the tooth, knocked it loose or out of your mouth, or broken it off in some way. One of the first steps to take during such a dental emergency is to examine the tooth. If you have knocked the entire tooth out, gently test to see if you can put it back in the hole. Don’t scrub any tissue from the tooth, but do rinse it gently with warm water if there is dirt or debris.
If the tooth cannot be inserted into the gum and jaw, soak it in milk until you can get to our office. Often, the calcium in the milk helps to preserve the tooth. If we can handle your emergency fast enough, we may be able to save the tooth.
If the tooth has been broken, rinse the piece gently with warm water and consider putting that in some milk as well. While it is not all that likely that we can re-bond the tooth, it may be an option. During a dental emergency, you do want to seek as many options as possible.
Because a tooth injury tends to come with soft tissue damage, you also need to address that. Whether it is a split lip, bleeding gums, injuries to the inside of the cheeks or the tongue, one of the best things to do is to rinse the mouth gently with salt water. It helps to sanitize the area, and during such dental emergencies you will also want to apply a compress of gauze and even pressure to stop bleeding. This also reduces swelling.
If you have suffered a dental emergency, give us a call at our Rockville, MD office at (301) 424-2030. You can also use our online contact form and one of our staff will get back to you promptly. Or send us a text message anytime at 240-277-4221.