It’s a Sunday afternoon, and you have plans to attend the Colts football game to cheer on your hometown gladiators of the gridiron. However, the sudden pain of a toothache puts a quick halt to what would have been a fun-filled day. You have a dental emergency on your hands, but what should you do about it? As you read on, your local emergency dentist explains how to identify the signs of a dental emergency and then reveals what you should do to stabilize the situation.
Temporary Crown Falls Out
A temporary dental crown may be used after a procedure like a root canal has been performed. It serves as a protector of the sensitive inner tooth area and prevents food particles and bacteria from causing infection and leading to acute pain.
If the crown falls out, you can apply a small drop of toothpaste to it and reattach it. Keep in mind, this is just a temporary fix. Thus, you should still make plans to visit your emergency dentist for lasting care.
Knocked Out Tooth
If one of your teeth is knocked out, it is definitely an emergency situation. Here are the steps you should take:
- Carefully grab the tooth by the crown (the wider portion) and rinse it with milk or saliva.
- Next, place the tooth in its correct socket and apply gentle pressure to keep it in its position until you can be seen by your emergency dentist.
- If you’re unable to reinsert the tooth, you can transport it to your dentist in a cup of milk to ensure that the roots stay alive.
Cut/ Bitten Tongue or Lip
The main concern with a lacerated lip or tongue is profuse bleeding. If you lose blood for more than 10 minutes, you should immediately head to your emergency room.
To get some temporary relief from a toothache, rinse your mouth with salt water to decrease the acidity. You can then gently floss around the affected tooth to remove any debris that may be contributing to your discomfort. Then reach out to your emergency dentist.
Possible Jaw Break
If you suddenly receive a blow to the face or you have a bad fall that results in facial trauma, then be on the lookout for the symptoms of a broken jaw. Two signs of danger are the inability to open your mouth fully and excruciating pain in the jaw area. If you experience either of these problems, then you should immediately head to the emergency room.
Missing a Colts home football game because of a dental emergency is not your idea of a way to enjoy your Sunday, but with the expert help of your emergency dentist, you can enjoy a full recovery and be ready to catch the next game.
About the Author
Dr. Mark M. Farthing earned his dental degree from Indiana University School of Dentistry. He then furthered his education through advanced training in such areas as occlusion (how the upper and lower teeth come together), implantology and other concentrations. Dr. Farthing treats dental emergencies at Indianapolis Family Dentistry, and he can be reached for more information through his website.