Actions to Consider If You Have a Dental Emergency

Actions to Consider If You Have a Dental Emergency

Mar 01, 2020

If you have experienced a dental emergency earlier you would know it can be frightening and painful. Many people are often unsure about what constitutes a dental emergency, who they should be calling, and what they can do at home in such situations. If you are in a similar situation we suggest you follow these guidelines to determine how best you can handle your dental emergency.

Does the Problem You Are Facing Need Urgent Treatment?

Certain types of dental emergencies can be considered urgent while others can be treated later on. Understanding the differences between the two is extremely important especially if you experience a dental emergency at a time when dental offices are generally closed. Mentioned below are examples of urgent dental emergencies:

  • Painful swelling.
  • Bleeding in the gums that won’t stop.
  • Knocked-out teeth.
  • Injured jaw.
  • Toothaches that are not subsiding.
  • Extreme sensitivity in the tooth.
  • Swollen cheeks or face along with toothaches.

Urgent dental emergencies must be attended by your dentist right away and therefore you must contact him or her immediately if you experience any of the problems mentioned above.

Most dentists have an emergency number where you can call if you experience any of the above problems beyond office hours. If you are unable to reach the dentist for any reason visit the emergency room if you consider the situation an urgent dental emergency.

What Kind of Emergencies Are Non-urgent?

Some types of dental problems do not need urgent dental care and can be considered as non-urgent dental emergencies. Some examples of non-urgent dental emergencies are the following:

  • Damaged or broken retainer or nightguard.
  • Food lodged between the teeth.
  • Dull toothache.
  • Mild tooth sensitivity.
  • Minor chip in the tooth.

If you experience a non-urgent dental emergency it is recommended that you contact your dentist as soon as possible. While the situation can wait for a few days a visit to the dentist will become imperative even to care for damaged teeth.

Who Should You Be Contacting?

Contacting your dentist would be the obvious choice whenever you experience a dental emergency. However, in some situations, it may be better for you to go to the emergency room especially if you are in unbearable pain or bleeding that cannot be stopped and are unable to contact your dentist for any reason. Be aware that emergency rooms cannot provide you dental care unless they have dental professionals among their staff. They can, however, provide you medications for the pain and help you to control the bleeding.

If the pain is not excruciating it is suggested that you call your dentist and explain the situation. Dentists in most cases will attempt to accommodate you immediately but if they cannot there is no reason to be upset about it. Many dental emergencies are not as urgent as believed by people but the dentist is the best person to differentiate between the two.

Caring for the Dental Emergency from Home

Depending on the dental emergency you are experiencing there may be some actions you can take at-home to ease the pain and remedy the situation. The most important among them is to stay calm and not panic. Anxiousness your body can trigger many responses that can make your emergency even worse than you believe. Therefore you are suggested to remain calm while seeking the assistance you need.

Some remedies suggested from home include the following to help ease any pain or discomfort from the dental emergency:

  • If you have knocked out teeth you can put it in a small container of milk until you can reach your dentist.
  • Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in boiling water to use it as a warm mouthwash to reduce swelling and any irritation.
  • Take the prescribed dose of over-the-counter pain reliever to alleviate any discomfort.
  • Floss your mouth if you are experiencing pain around a particular tooth. The chances of food particles being stuck between your teeth or inside the gum tissue can also lead you to believe you are experiencing a dental emergency.

Preventing Dental Emergencies Is Not Impossible

If you are suffering from a dental emergency it may lead you to wonder how you can prevent another one from occurring in the future. The best way of protecting yourself from dental emergencies is to visit your dentist twice a year for comprehensive exams and cleanings. If you attend these appointments stringently the likelihood of something painful and unexpected popping in your mouth will diminish. You can easily prevent dental emergencies by keeping up with the appointments for dental exams and cleanings where the dentist can identify problems and treat them before they put you in a distressing situation.