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Dental emergencies can happen to anyone at any time. From young children to adults, it’s vital to see a dentist or medical professional immediately to decrease the chance of having any damage become a permanent issue.
Getting hit in the face, a cracked or broken tooth and oral infections are all considered dental emergencies that should be addressed by a dentist right away – even during COVID-19.
Types of Dental Emergencies
Abscesses and Infections – Abscesses and infections are the most common dental emergencies as they typically occur due to poor oral hygiene and gum disease. There is an increased risk of abscesses and infections if you suffer from a chronic health condition like diabetes. If not treated promptly, oral infections can quickly spread throughout the body.
Severe Toothache – Severe toothaches can happen due to a cavity, a loose filling, or because of gum disease and inflammation. Seeing a dentist is the quickest way to diagnose where the pain is coming from and why.
Mouth Injury – Getting hit in the mouth or suffering from a fall can cause injuries to the mouth and gums. If persistent bleeding occurs, it’s essential to perform basic first aid and to see your dentist right away.
Cracked or Broken Tooth – A cracked or broken tooth can happen from getting hit in the mouth or from biting into a food that is too hard. Take any pieces of tooth to your dentist so that the tooth can be repaired.
Loose Tooth – While it’s normal for young children to have a loose tooth, this isn’t the case for adults. A loose permanent tooth can result from tooth decay, gum disease, or a mouth injury. In some instances, a dentist can repair and re-stabilize a loose tooth, and in others, the tooth will have to be extracted.
Knocked-Out Tooth – One or more knocked out teeth from a mouth injury is always a dental emergency. If possible, save the knocked-out teeth and get to a dentist right away. The teeth may be able to be re-implanted if done quickly.
What To Do Until You See a Dentist
Dental emergencies tend to happen at the most inconvenient of times. Knowing what to do until a dentist can see you is critical for making the waiting period as painless as possible. Additionally, specific actions can be the difference between your dentist being able to save a damaged tooth and an extraction.
Cold Compress and Pain Medication
For mouth injuries, swelling and toothaches, it may help place a cool, wet washcloth or ice pack to the side of the face. Additionally, you can take pain medication, like Tylenol, or use an oral anesthetic to help reduce pain while you make an emergency trip to the dentist’s office.
Rinsing the Mouth With Warm Salt Water
Mouth injuries, oral infections, abscesses, and toothaches may benefit from being rinsed with warm salt water, helping alleviate pain and help draw out any infection. However, you will still need to schedule an emergency appointment with your dentist.
Find All Pieces of the Damaged Tooth
Please make every attempt to find all pieces of a broken or knocked-out tooth and preserve them for re-implantation or attachment. In the case of teeth that have been completely knocked out, it is imperative NOT to touch the root. If possible, you should clean the tooth and place it back into the socket. Biting down on a clean, sterile piece of gauze can help hold the tooth in place. Additionally, you can place the tooth inside a clean container to help preserve it until you reach the dentist.
Always Contact Your Dentist ASAP
If you are experiencing a dental emergency or an urgent dental issue, you must contact your dentist right away to determine the best course of action – even during COVID-19. If your dentist’s office is closed, always leave a message on the monitored emergency line so your dentist can return your call and provide you with further instructions.
If you find yourself in a dental emergency in the Marrero area, contact Aubrey Baudean DDS so we can help!