When you’re experiencing mouth pain or something in your mouth feels just feels plain wrong, it’s hard to know what qualifies as a serious dental emergency. Regardless of the issue, your first course of action should be to call your dentist and schedule an appointment; the patient coordinator will be able to let you know whether you need to come in for an emergency appointment. Understanding how to assess the situation calmly when a dental emergency happens will help you make the right decision for the health of your smile.
4 Common Dental Emergencies
If the following happens to you, follow first aid instructions and call your dentist for an emergency appointment immediately:
Knocked Out Tooth
Swish a warm salt water solution in your mouth and stop any bleeding with a clean paper or cloth towel. Recover the tooth, if possible. Wash the tooth, taking care not to remove any pieces of tissue that may be clinging to the root. Store the tooth in a jar of water (or a product called Sav-A-Tooth) and bring it with you to your appointment. Your dentist may be able to reattach the tooth.
Tooth Knocked Loose
Gently rinse your mouth with a warm salt water solution, take an appropriate dose of pain medication, and use a compress to stop any bleeding. Your dentist will need to assess the severity of the injury before determining what the best course of action will be.
Any Other Type of Severe Injury
As a general rule, if you experience a severe injury in the mouth – such as the kind sustained if a baseball hit you in the mouth or you fell down while biking or jogging and hit your mouth – you need to visit your dentist as soon as possible. Any number of injuries could have occurred, from a broken tooth to lacerated gum tissue and will need to be addressed.
A severe toothache, whether it’s localized in one are or occurring across several teeth or even an entire dental arch, could be attributed to a number of different causes. This could be as minor as a piece of food lodged between the teeth causing uncomfortable tightness or as serious as a deep cavity or tooth abscess.