What to Do in an Oral Crisis
Are you experiencing any pain, discomfort or abnormal activity in your mouth? Is it affecting your teeth, gums or cheeks? You are definitely not alone. Due to accidents, sports-related trauma, and other various behaviors, dental emergencies often occur. The good news is that it can be taken care of right away, especially when your dentist has flexible hours and the tools for a fast recovery.
We will discuss specific circumstances including where you should go, how soon you should go (depending on the pain and situation), and what you can do in the meantime to help alleviate the pain.
Are you experiencing any of these emergencies?
Save any pieces that you can find from the chipped tooth and rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water. Contact your dentist immediately. If there is any bleeding within the mouth, apply gauze to the affected area and hold pressure until the bleeding stops. You can also apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth near the affected area to control swelling.
Knocked out tooth
Contact your dentist immediately to be seen. The quicker you are able to get in, the better the chances are of it being fixed. If you’re able to locate the missing tooth, take it with you. If the dentist is able to see immediately, try to fit the tooth back into the hole and press wet gauze or a tea bag to the tooth. Bite down on the gauze/tea bag to make sure the tooth does not become loose in your mouth where it could potentially be lost or swallowed. Make sure you hold the tooth by the crown (the part of the tooth that is used for chewing and is visible) and not the root.
If you are not able to see your dentist right away, preserve the tooth by placing it in a small container with whole milk or your saliva. If you do not wish to use milk or saliva, use some type of cell growth medium such as Save-A-Tooth, EMT, or Tooth Saver to place the tooth in. Try to schedule an appointment as soon as you can to meet with a dentist.
Braces Emergency-Broken brackets/wires
You should contact your orthodontist immediately if any brackets or wires are broken or torn. If the wire or bracket is irritating your gum or cheek, use the eraser end of a pencil to gently try to push the wire away and try to put it back in place. If the wire or bracket continues to irritate your mouth, place dental wax, a cotton ball, or gauze in your mouth to protect your cheek until you are able to see your orthodontist. You should never cut the wire as you may cut a small piece and swallow it, causing harm your lungs and throat.
If you are experiencing any type of toothache, try to figure out the root of the pain. Once you detect the location of the aching, use dental floss to make sure there are no particles lodged between the teeth. Rinse your mouth with warm water to remove particles and to ease any inflammation. Schedule an appointment to see your dentist immediately before the pain becomes unbearable. Severe toothaches can be a sign of gingivitis or developing bacterium.
If your crown becomes loose or falls of completely, call your dentist right away and schedule an appointment. If your crown falls off your tooth, see if you can find it and bring it with you to your appointment. If the area that was affected is bothering you, take a cotton swab with clove oil (easily found at your local drugstore) and apply it to the irritated area. If possible, try fitting the crown back over the tooth by coating the inside with toothpaste so the crown sticks to your tooth. Do not use any paste that is permanent.
Soft tissue injuries
This type of injury includes any type of irritation or cut in the lips, cheeks or gums. For this type of emergency, you can try self-treating your cut or sore by first rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water solution. If the bleeding continues to persist, you should apply wet gauze or a tea bag and hold pressure to the affected area for 15 minutes. To relieve swelling, hold a cold compress to the outside of your mouth/cheek where the affected area is located. If the cut or sore does not lessen or alleviate, call your dentist to schedule an appointment.
How to avoid these oral crises:
- Wear a mouthguard during vigorous activities and sports
- Brush and floss regularly
- Stray away from chewing and biting hard foods
Are you curious how Mogren Dental handles dental emergencies? By staying open late on Monday nights and opening bright and early on Wednesday mornings, we are able to provide you with the flexibility to fit any schedule or emergency that may occur. Call our office at (231) 737-5500 to find out how to contact Dr. Mogren in the event of a dental emergency.