Your teeth are strong but they’re still susceptible to accidents. Sometimes a dental emergency doesn’t involve an accident. The staff at Dores Dental in Longmeadow, MA, can help you through any dental crisis you may have.
It’s not always easy to know what’s considered an actual emergency. If you don’t know whether you’re experiencing a dental emergency or not, call Dores Dental at 413-241-3995 and we can talk about it with you.
Precautions Against Having A Dental Emergency
There are a few things you can do to cut down your chances of having a dental emergency in the first place:
Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels, hard candy, or other hard substances that could crack your tooth.
When you’re playing sports or riding a bike, wear a mouthguard.
Don’t use your teeth as a tool. Don’t try to open things with your teeth.
What does a dental emergency look like?
Here are a few situations that constitute a dental emergency:
A Knocked Out Tooth
If your tooth has been knocked out completely, you need to see us. We have the best chance of saving a knocked out tooth if we can get it back in the socket within one hour. Here are some things to do before you get to us to make sure you get the best results when you come in:
- Find the tooth and hold it by its crown (the part that was above the gum when it was in your mouth).
- Rinse the tooth root with water if it’s dirty. Don’t scrub it and don’t remove any tissue that’s connected to the tooth.
- Try to put the tooth back in its place. Make sure it’s facing the right way and don’t try to force it back into the socket.
- If you can’t get the tooth back in the socket, put it in a small container of milk. (This will keep the tooth moist and possibly preserve the root.)
A Broken Or Damaged Tooth
- Save any pieces of the tooth that you can.
- Rinse your mouth out with warm water.
- If you have any bleeding, press a piece of gauze to the area until bleeding stops.
- Hold a cold compress outside of your mouth near the broken or chipped tooth to keep swelling down.
Object Caught Between Teeth
If you can’t dislodge an object caught between your teeth with dental floss, then see us. Never try to get the object with a pin or sharp object since you could do more harm than good.
If you’ve lost a filling, that means that your nerve is exposed. Until you can get in to see us, you can put some sugarless gum into the hole the filling used to cover. (Regular gum has sugar and will cause pain.) You can also buy an over-the-counter dental cement and use it just until you can see us.
Crowns can come off. Until you can see us, coat the inner surface of the affected tooth with an over-the-counter dental cement or adhesive. Slip the crown back over your tooth. This will be a temporary measure until you can get into our office and we can put the crown back on with professional strength cement.
Sometimes with metal braces, a wire can break or stick out of a bracket. This can cause the wire to poke your cheek, gum, or tongue. If this happens, use the eraser end of a pencil to try to reposition the wire. If you can’t do that, cover the end of the wire with a piece of gauze until you get to our office.
If a bracket becomes loose, you can temporarily reattach it with a piece of orthodontic wax.
Non-Accident Related Dental Emergencies
Sometimes dental emergencies aren’t due to injury. You could just wake up one morning with a toothache. Call us right away since there’s no reason to suffer. In the meantime, rinse your mouth with warm water. Despite the old wives’ tale about putting aspirin on an aching tooth, don’t do it. It can burn the gum tissue.
One reason for tooth pain could be an abscess, an infection around the tooth.
An abscess is serious because it can spread to surrounding teeth and damage other tissue. In extreme cases, the bacteria from an abscess can spread to your jaw, neck, or even brain. Abscesses won’t go away on their own. You’ll need to see us as soon as possible.
In case you’re not sure about what an abscess looks and feels like, here are some symptoms:
- Sensitivity to hot or cold
- Severe pain in the tooth area
- Facial swelling
- Swollen lymph nodes