Let an Emergency Dentist Handle Your Dental 911
It happens. You’re out enjoying the kids, playing a high-energy game of touch football. A surprise “tackle” from your little one results in you chipping a tooth. Or you wake up in the morning bothered by a dull ache in the back of your mouth that quickly escalates into a full-blown toothache. Anytime you experience injury to your teeth, mouth or jaw, it’s time to see an emergency dentist.
An emergency dentist is a general dentist or dental specialist you don’t need an appointment to see. Emergency dentists provide 24-hour dentistry, and can handle most dental emergencies. That’s what you want because if you happen to have a broken tooth, a lost tooth filling, a missing dental crown, or you need toothache remedies, you don’t want to have to wait 12 or 16 hours before you can get dental treatment. Plus, delaying necessary dental care never results in your dental problems going away; most times, they get worse, and fixing them becomes more intensive and more expensive.
Telltale Signs You’re Having a Dental Emergency
Mouth, jaw and neck pain are key indicators you be experiencing a dental emergency. Pain is the universal signal that something is wrong. So, if you’re experiencing pain, find the nearest 24-hour dentist near you. Here is a list of issues that you should consider dental emergencies and some things you can do to minimize pain until you get to the dentist.
Bitten Lip or Tongue
Clean the area and apply an ice pack to reduce swelling. If the bleeding doesn't stop, see your dentist right away or go to a hospital emergency room.
Save any pieces of the broken tooth and rinse your mouth out with warm water. Apply a cold compress to the area to decrease swelling and pain until you can be seen by an emergency dentist.
Apply a cold compress to limit swelling and see your dentist right away.
Knocked Out Tooth
Gently rinse off the knocked out tooth without removing any attached tissue. If possible, hold the tooth in place in the socket. Otherwise, put the tooth in a glass of milk and get to an emergency dentist right away.
Object Stuck in Teeth
Carefully try to remove the object with dental floss. (Don't try using a sharp instrument instead!) If you're unable to dislodge the object with dental floss, contact your dentist.
Lost Dental Filling or Dental Crown
For dental fillings, seal the area with a piece of sugarless gum or over-the-counter dental cement. If a dental crown has come loose, try to put it back in place with dental cement. If that doesn't work, bring it with you to the dentist.
Rinse your mouth with warm water. Then use dental floss to make sure there isn't any food or other debris causing the pain. If the pain persists, call your dentist.
If you notice a painful, pimple-like swelling on your gums, rinse with salt water and immediately contact an emergency dentist. Dental abscesses can lead to more serious infections if not treated promptly.
You Can Set Yourself Up for a Dental Emergency Later On and Not Even Know It
Many people do things that can compromise their teeth, without realizing it. For instance, chewing on ice, crunching hard candy or eating popcorn kernels can crack teeth without you even knowing. If you use your teeth to tear open packages instead of using scissors, this can cause tiny cracks in your teeth and in the enamel that protects you teeth that you can’t see with the naked eye.
It may seem almost cliché at this point, but basic dental care like brushing your teeth after every meal and using floss to clean between your teeth still go a long way toward fortifying your dental health. In addition to brushing and flossing, adopt habits like wearing a mouth guard if you play sorts to insulate your teeth from excessive force or trauma. Also, wear a mouth guard if you grind your teeth in your sleep, either as a matter of habit or when you’re experiencing stress.
Schedule regular dental visits so your dentist can monitor your dental health and take preventative steps to minimize the possibility of having dental problems later. Your primary defense against dental problems is maintaining excellent oral hygiene.