What To Do When Faced With A Dental Emergency

By: Gen Wright

At some point in your life you will be faced with a dental emergency where you will be forced to act quickly. When this happens to you, it is important to be knowledgeable about what to do. Your quick action combined with advances in modern dentistry will ensure that even the worst dental emergencies will end with a happy outcome.

Tips To Avoid Accidents

There are a few simple precautions that you can take that will help you to avoid getting in accidents involving your teeth. Here are a few important ones:

* Wear a mouthguard. This is extremely important if you are participating in sports, one of the most common instances of dental emergencies. A mouthguard will protect your teeth, gums, lips, cheek and tongue from damage.
* Avoid hard candy, popcorn and chewing ice. All of these foods have the capability of cracking one of your teeth.
* Cut tape with scissors instead of your teeth. Many people have the unfortunate habit of using their teeth to cut things. This can cause problems, including cracking your tooth.

How To Handle Different Emergencies

* Chipped or broken teeth. Save any pieces that you can find. Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area. Use cold compresses on the area to reduce the swelling and contact your dentist as soon as you can.
* Bitten lip or tongue. Gently clean the area with a cloth and warm water. Apply cold compresses to the affected area to reduce swelling. If the bleeding does not stop, you should go to a hospital emergency room as soon as you can.
* Object caught between teeth. If you have an object caught between your teeth, you should attempt to remove it by using dental floss. Avoid using a sharp object to try to dislodge the item as this can damage your teeth and gums. If you cannot remove the object using dental floss, contact you dentist.
* Knocked out tooth. If you have a tooth knocked out, the first step is to locate the tooth. After doing so, pick it up by the crown and gently rinse it if it is dirty. Next put the tooth in a container of milk or lightly salted water. As soon as you can, you must next go to your dentist. The vast majority of teeth that are reattached are fixed within one hour of getting knocked out.
* Abscessed tooth. An abscessed tooth is a pocket of pus in the tooth generally caused by an infection. This condition can be very painful and you should call your dentist right away when it occurs. Antibiotics or a root canal procedure may be necessary to remove the infection.
* Soft tissue injuries. If you get hit in the face, you run the risk of having a soft-tissue injury to your lips, gums or cheeks. Rinse your mouth with salt water then use some moistened gauze to put pressure on the bleeding site. If the bleeding does not stop, you should go to the emergency room as soon as you can.
* Toothache. Tooth pain can be the result of a variety of dental problems. Contact your dentist as soon as you can to schedule an appointment. In the meantime, wash out your mouth with water to clear it of debris.

To learn more about how to handle a dental emergency, talk to your Yarmouth dentist today.

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Dr. Michael Bittrich, South Dennis dentist, has been practicing dentistry for more than 26 years. His practice offers many general and cosmetic services for its patients and this dentist in Dennis prides himself on maintaining strong relationships with his patients.

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