When it comes to your oral health, the best defense is a good offense – brushing, flossing and twice yearly hygiene appointments. But occasionally dental emergencies do happen and knowing what to do can help save a tooth. Above all, don’t panic, your team at Smileboston Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry is here to help. Listed below are the five most common dental emergencies and how to handle them.
1. Toothache - Suffering from a toothache is a pain – pun intended! Many dental conditions manifest themselves in a toothache. If you are experiencing a tooth pain, rinse your mouth with warm water and brush and floss to ensure that there are no food remnants caught between your teeth. Take an over the counter pain reliever and contact your dentist if the pain persists.
2. Broken Tooth - If you break a tooth, rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water, and avoid swallowing any broken pieces. Call your dentist and apply a cold pack to the cheek or lips over the broken tooth. This will help to reduce swelling and relieve pain.
3. Knocked out Tooth – More than five million teeth are knocked out every year! If this happens to you, hold the tooth from the crown and rinse the root with warm water or saline. Avoid scrubbing any tissue fragments on the root. Keep the tooth moist. If possible, insert the tooth back in its socket, put it under your tongue, or place in a glass of milk. Hurry to the dentist!
4. Cracked Tooth - If your tooth is cracked, treatment depends on the location and size of the crack. Rest assured that most types of cracks are tiny and don’t cause trouble. In fact, most minor teeth cracks are diagnosed during a routine dental examination. Treatment of cracked teeth varies from sealing the crack to endodontic treatment. Extraction may be needed for severely cracked teeth.
5. Bitten Tongue - When you bite your tongue or lip; rinse your mouth with warm water and clean the area with a piece of cotton or cloth. If swelling occurs, compress a cold pack over the injured area. If the bleeding will not stop, call your dentist. You may need stitches to control bleeding.
Here are simple precautions to avoid dental accidents and injury:
- Wear a mouthguard when participating in sports. Call Smileboston for more information.
- Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels and hard candy, all of which can crack teeth.
- Use scissors, and never your teeth, to cut things.
When you do have a dental emergency, it’s important to visit your dentist or an emergency room as soon as possible. Most dentists reserve time in their daily schedules for emergency patients and many are available by phone 24/7. With two convenient locations in the Boston area, the Smileboston Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry offices in Brookline and on the South Shore, are always available. In addition to dental emergencies, Smileboston provides a wide array of services that range from general dentistry to cosmetic procedures and full smile makeovers. Visit www.Smileboston.com for details.