What to Do in a Dental Emergency

Accidents are a fact of life, and knowing what to do when faced with a dental one can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth. In the fast-paced world of today, dental injuries are commonplace. A damaging blow to the face or teeth can occur during auto accidents, falls, and a variety of sports, such as football, hockey, soccer, volleyball, basketball, and baseball.

How Can Teeth Get Damaged?

Teeth can easily be chipped, broken or knocked loose during these activities many of us participate in daily. Most hospitals have an oral surgeon on-contract who treats emergency dental issues such as as fractures of the upper or lower jaw, emergency tooth removals (dental extractions) and reconstruction of the dental arches.

Fractures of your teeth can be brought on by damage from cavities and chewing or biting down on hard objects, such as pencils, pens, ice cubes, nuts, and hard candies. If a dental injury happens without associated head and neck trauma, it can often be evaluated and treated in a dental office such as Dental Creations in Medford NJ. This kind of dental issue can include broken teeth or fractured teeth, teeth knocked out or loosened.

Sometimes swelling of the gum and oral tissue occur in conjunction with these injuries. Applying cold packs or ice cubes outside on the cheeks or lips or even in the mouth near the injured area can reduce pain and swelling before the patient reaches the dentist.

What to Do in a Dental Emergency

Here is some advice for some common dental emergencies:

  • If an adult or permanent tooth has been knocked-out, it is crucial to keep the displaced tooth moist at all times. If possible, try replace the tooth back into socket without touching the root. If that is impossible, gently place the tooth between your cheek and gums, in milk, or use a tooth preserving product approved by the ADA. Then, see Dr. Poorva Parnaik and her team at Dental Creations right away.
  • For a cracked tooth, immediately rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area. Apply cold compresses to the face to prevent or reduce swelling.
  • You may have bitten your tongue or lip during your injury. If so, clean the area gently with water and apply a cold compress.
  • For toothaches, flush the area with warm water. Then use dental floss to gently remove any food caught between the teeth. Do not apply aspirin onto the aching tooth or gum tissues.

When you have a dental emergency, it’s important to visit Dr. Parnaik and her Dental Creations team or, if the issue is severe enough, an emergency room as soon as possible.

Preventing Dental Emergencies

Here are some simple steps you can take to avoid accidents and injuries to your teeth:   

  • Always wear a protective mouthguard when playing sports or participating in recreational activities.
  • Avoid hard foods that can crack teeth such as ice, popcorn kernels and hard candy.
  • You should only use scissors to cut or open things; NEVER your teeth!

Most dentists keep some time set aside in their daily schedules for emergency appointments so don’t hesitate to call if you need one. Make sure to provide Dr. Parnaik as much information as possible about your condition, including how it happened.

For more information on dental first aid or to schedule an examination in the Medford NJ area call 609.365.0673 or schedule online to see Dr. Parnaik and her team.