When faced with a dental emergency, it is common to panic. Not knowing what to do and the uncertainty the situation presents makes it hard for you to think clearly. For most people, the obvious reaction is to reach out to an emergency dentist nearest to them. This is a good decision, but even before you get the dentist, there are some things you can do to help alleviate pain and reduce damage to your dental health. It is important to learn some basic first aid tips that could help you in case of a dental emergency. These tips could especially be helpful during this COVID-19 period that has affected the operations of most dental clinics.
Soft Tissue Injuries: These are injuries affecting the tongue, cheek, lips, and gums. They include cuts, bruises, lacerations, and punctures that can happen when you bite down hard on something or during car accidents and falls. The biggest concern with these types of injuries is bleeding that happens thereafter. In case of bleeding, rinse the mouth with a salt-water solution then proceed to place a moistened piece of gauze or tea bag on the injury site and apply pressure for 15 to 20 minutes. A holt or cold compress on the outside of the mouth can also help with the bleeding and pain. You should continue to apply pressure until bleeding stops or you can be seen by a doctor.
Abscess: This is a serious infection that when left untreated can cause damage to tissue and surrounding teeth. There is also a risk of it spreading to other parts of the body. An abscess mostly occurs around the root of a tooth or in the area between the gums and teeth. if you notice a painful and pimple-like swelling on your gums, it could be an abscess and you need to visit the nearest dentist immediately. To ease the pain and draw the pus out, rinse the mouth with a mild saltwater solution.
Knocked-Out Tooth: Seeing a dentist within the first hour of losing a tooth increases the chances of saving re-inserting the tooth and saving the tooth. Your first response should be to retrieve the tooth by holding it by the crown and then rinsing it off with water and then trying to put it back into the socket. If you cannot place it back, do not force it into the socket but instead put the tooth in a clean container with some milk and immediately get to a dentist. At William G. Ziecina D.D.S, we provide 24-hour dental emergency services so you can come in at any time to have knocked-out-tooth treatment.
Objects Stuck Between Teeth: Begin by trying to dislodge the object by using dental floss gently and carefully. If that fails, call your dentist for urgent care. Dentists in Shelby Township, MI warn against using sharp items like pins to try forcing out the object as these may cause more damage such as a cut on the soft tissue in the mouth.
Toothache: Toothaches do not always amount to emergencies but if after taking painkillers the pain seems to persist, it is time to get medical attention. Begin by rinsing the mouth with some warm water to ensure nothing is lodged between the teeth. you can also brush or floss to dislodge anything that could be stuck there-in. if there is swelling apply a cold compress on the outside of the mouth and proceed to see your dentist as soon as possible.
Cracked/Chipped/Broken Teeth: Trauma is the biggest cause of broken, chipped, and cracked teeth. your first reaction should be to locate any fragments of the tooth and bring them with you to the dentist. Next, clean the affected area by rinsing the mouth with warm water. This is important as it ensures you do not have any tooth fragments stuck on your cheeks or jaw. In case of bleeding, place a piece of gauze on the site and hold it there for about 10 minutes or until there is no more bleeding. A cold compress on the outside of the mouth will also help keep down any swelling or pain. Arrange to see your dentist immediately.