Dental emergency is any injury to your teeth or gums that can put you at a risk of permanent damage. If not treated in time, it can lead to more serious problems in your oral cavity which may require more expensive and wider treatment. Dental emergencies require you to visit your dentist’s office as soon as possible. In the meanwhile, you may follow the below instructions as a form of preliminary treatment:
• Toothaches: Rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water. Use dental floss to remove any debris. Use a cold compress outside your mouth or on your cheek to minimize swelling.
• Chipped or broken teeth: Rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water. Use a cold compress outside your mouth to decrease swelling.
• Knocked-out tooth: Rinse the root of the tooth in water while holding on to its crown. Gently insert the tooth back into its socket. If it is not possible, put the tooth in a cup of milk or in a cup of water with a pinch of table salt and take it along with you to the dentist’s office as soon as possible. A knocked-out tooth has the highest chances of being saved if returned to its socket within one hour.
• Objects caught between teeth: Try to remove the object smoothly with dental floss. Never use any sharp instruments as they can cut your gums or scratch your teeth enamel. If you are not able to remove the object, go to your dentist as soon as possible.
• Lost crown: You may apply a little clove oil to the affected area if you are in pain. You may slip the crown back over your tooth using over-the-counter dental cement or toothpaste if possible.
• Broken braces and wires: You may try using the eraser end of a pencil to bend the broken piece of wire into a more comfortable position. If you are not able to do so, cover the end of the wire with a cotton ball or dental wax until you can go to your dentist’s office.
• Loose brackets and bands: You may reattach the loose pieces with orthodontic wax. You may apply some wax over the braces for cushioning. If you are having problems with a loose band, save it, and go to your dentist as soon as possible.
• Lost filling: As a temporary measure, you may press a piece of sugarless gum into your cavity or use over-the-counter dental cement.
• Abscess: A collection of pus that forms around the root of a tooth or in the space between the teeth and the gums is known as abscess. These are caused by bacteria and if left untreated can spread to other parts of your body. If you notice any abnormal swelling in your gums, rinse well with mild salt-water solution and go to your dentist as soon as possible.
• Soft-tissue injuries: Injuries can happen to your gums, tongue, lips, and cheeks, and can result in bleeding. To control bleeding, rinse your mouth with mild salt-water solution, apply moistened gauze to the injury for 15-20 minutes. You may apply a cold compress to the outside of the affected area for 5 to 10 minutes. If the bleeding persists continue to apply pressure on the affected area and go to your dentist’s office right away.