What To Do In a Dental Emergency
After lunch, you noticed that your tooth has started throbbing with pain. The pain seemed to come out of nowhere, but it’s getting worse and it’s almost unbearable …
You daughter is playing soccer. An opposing player has the ball and is racing toward the goal. Your daughter is trying to stop the shot when she slips. Instead of blocking the ball with her legs, she gets hit in the face. And one of her teeth gets knocked loose …
Would you know what to do in either of the situations described above?
If you live in or near Red Bank, NJ, your first step should be to call dentist Denise DiBona, DDS, at (732) 945-5343.
We can make an appointment to see you that same day. If you are calling outside of our regular hours, you can still reach one of our staff members by calling our number, and we will make every effort to treat you as soon as possible.
In the meantime, keep reading to learn what you should do if a dental emergency happens to you or someone you love.
Let’s start with our first example. If your tooth just starts to ache, then the first thing you’ll want to do is make sure nothing is stuck between your teeth and gums.
Sometimes, using dental floss will be enough to remove whatever has become lodged in your teeth.
If that doesn’t work, then call our office as soon as possible. You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever, but there is one thing you should never do. Do NOT hold aspirin next to your tooth. Aspirin can burn your gum tissue, which will just make you problem worse.
A toothache could be a sign of severe tooth decay or an abscessed tooth. Both can be quite painful, but both are treatable.
Tooth decay can be removed and replaced with a dental crown. An abscessed tooth could require a root canal treatment. Modern root canals involve little if any pain, but they will relieve the pain you enduring because of your infection.
If a tooth falls out or gets knocked out, then you need to get to the dentist office as soon as you can. In some cases, it is possible to re-place the missing tooth where it belongs.
If your tooth is knocked out, maybe while you or someone you love is playing hockey or basketball, the first thing you should do is try to find the tooth.
If you can find it, be careful about how you pick it up. You should avoid touching the root of the tooth. Pick it up by the crown (which is the part of the tooth that you can see when it’s in your mouth).
Rinse the tooth to remove any dirt, and rinse your mouth to remove any blood. If possible, try to place the tooth in the gap. If it won’t stay in place, then you should keep the tooth in a container of milk until you can see the dentist.
A hockey puck to the mouth or an elbow to the jaw may cause your tooth to fall out, or it may just cause part of a tooth to break off.
If you lose part of a tooth, then you should first try to find the piece or pieces. Again, you will want to rinse the pieces and rinse your mouth. Then, place the pieces in a container of milk until you are able to see the dentist.
In this case, you also should cover the broken tooth with wax or gauze. The broken tooth could have a sharp point or edge. If you don’t cover the tooth, you might accidentally cut your cheeks, lips, or tongue.
You can’t anticipate every emergency, but you can take steps to minimize the damage if an emergency does happen.
First, practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice per day. Floss every day, and have routine cleanings at our dentist office at least twice a year.
Second, when you play or practice high impact sports (like hockey or basketball), you should wear an athletic mouthguard. Like a seat belt, it won’t stop the accident from happening, but it reduces your chances of experiencing a serious injury because of that accident.
Emergency And Preventive Care
Denise DiBona, DDS, encourages you to visit our dentist office in Red Bank, NJ, for preventive care, but if you do have an emergency, call us right away.