Any type of dental emergency can be nerve-wracking, especially when you’re in pain and bleeding. Every step that you take or miss will either make you save or lose your tooth. Learning what to do during a dental emergency equips you with the right mindset and strategy to prevent worsening the situation as you rush to the dentist.
What is a dental emergency?
A dental emergency happens when a dental condition requires immediate dental attention to stop excessive bleeding, control the spread of infection, and prevent it from progressing to a medical condition. If a dental emergency is left untreated, it can escalate to a life-threatening situation like sepsis and heart attack.
Dental conditions considered as a dental emergency include:
- Knocked-out tooth due to trauma
- Chipped or cracked tooth
- Fractured tooth where a big part of the tooth was removed
- Throbbing toothache that lasts for two days
- Severe pain and swelling due to a dental abscess
- Loose and wobbly tooth
- Continuous gum bleeding
- Gum infection
- Trauma in the mouth area that affects breathing
- Pain due to the advanced stage of cavities exposing the tooth root
- Broken braces that can wound soft tissues in your mouth
If you have any of the dental conditions above, contact your emergency dentist in Florissant, MO, as soon as possible.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, dental practices in Florissant follow safety protocols that require patients to call first and avoid walking in for dental emergencies. It will ensure that all patients have undergone a COVID-19 screening and uphold the safety of patients and dental staff.
Tips in handling a dental emergency
Nothing can fully prepare you for an emergency. However, it pays to know what to do when it happens to you or any of your family members. Here are some helpful tips as you contact your dentist:
- If you are experiencing severe tooth pain, try to brush and floss first. Usually, the pain comes from the stuck food debris between your teeth that irritates the nerves, resulting in pain.
- If you’ve knocked out your tooth, hold it on the crown and avoid touching the root. Rinse and keep it in a clean container and prevent it from getting dry. You can submerge it in milk, put it back on its socket, or let it stay behind your cheeks while you contact your dentist.
- For a painful cracked tooth and swelling gums, rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area. Put a cold compress on your cheeks to soothe the pain. If your cracked tooth is bleeding, press it with a sanitized gauze for 10 minutes to encourage blood clotting and control the bleeding.
- Keep the chipped pieces of your tooth and submerge them in milk. Your dentist can still bond the broken pieces to your tooth, so bring the chipped pieces when you go to your dentist.
- Soothe the pain due to severe toothache or tooth abscess by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water
- For cases of facial trauma resulting in distorted or dislocated jaws, keep the face as still as possible. Use a towel, handkerchief, or a necktie and wrap it around the head. Any movement may affect nerves on the TMJ area and may result in extreme pain and other complications. Call your dentist immediately or go to the nearest local emergency room as soon as possible.
- If you have a large cavity on your molar, you have to fill it temporarily to prevent food particles from getting stuck in the hole. You can use a ball of cotton or a molded beeswax.
- Use dental floss to push out a stuck object or popcorn kernel. However, avoid scratching or hitting the tweezers against your teeth to prevent damaging your tooth enamel.
Consult an emergency dentist in Florissant, MO
Controlling the bleeding and alleviating the pain during dental emergencies are just band-aid solutions. They don’t resolve the actual dental condition and should not be a reason to delay your dental appointment.
Save yourself from the hassles of an untreated dental problem by calling your dentist immediately. Soft Touch Dental provides dental emergency services in Florissant, MO, and the rest of St. Louis County. You may call us at (314) 866-4801.