It’s football season, and you have plans to head out Friday evening to catch some high school, gridiron action. Your plans are derailed, though, when you discover that you’ve broken a tooth while attempting to bite into a piece of ice. The pain is significant, and you need relief. What should you do? As you read on, your emergency dentist in Harker Heights weighs in with answers.
How Do I Know It’s an Emergency?
If you’re suddenly struck with excruciating pain, continuous bleeding or a broken or lost tooth, then you have a dental emergency on your hands. Here are three things that should take place, though, no matter what type of dental trauma you have:
- Gather yourself and take a deep breath.
- You should carefully assess the situation.
- Contact your emergency dentist to explain what has happened.
Temporary Crown Falls Out
If you lose a temporary crown, your tooth is left vulnerable to food particles and bacteria, so it’s important to retrieve the restoration and dry it off. Next, you can place a dollop of toothpaste, denture adhesive or dental wax on the fixture to temporarily hold it in its designated place.
For a dislodged tooth, grab it carefully and rinse it under warm water. You then have two options:
- Place it back in your mouth.
- If that’s not possible, then soak the tooth in a cup of milk.
Soft Tissue Laceration
If your lip, cheek, tongue or other soft tissues are bitten or cut, you should clean the wound and then apply a cold compress to reduce any inflammation. If bleeding persists for more than an hour, then you should head to your local emergency room.
The first step for addressing a broken tooth is to rinse the area with warm water. Next, carefully bite down on a cotton gauze placed over the tooth and apply a cold compress to reduce any swelling.
For a toothache, first rinse your mouth and then carefully brush and floss to remove anything that could possibly be irritating your tooth. To address the pain, you can take ibuprofen and apply a cold compress to the outside of your jaw.
Object Lodged Between Teeth
When you have something stuck between your teeth, you should first gently floss to attempt to remove it. If you are unsuccessful, then immediately reach out to your emergency dentist.
In a perfect world, there would be no dental emergencies, but the reality is that mishaps happen. What matters most is how you respond to any developing issues. With the help of your local dentist, you’ll be able to recover from a dental emergency and get back to enjoying the rest of football season in Harker Heights!
About the Author
Dr. Melinda Duncan is a graduate of The University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Throughout her career, she’s remained steadfast in her efforts to provide her patients with the utmost in dental care, which is why she takes continuing education yearly. Dr. Duncan provides comprehensive care, which includes emergency dentistry, at Market Heights Family Dental, and she can be reached for more information through her website.