Help with Common Dental Emergencies
Most patients try to be as careful as possible with their oral health. However, dental emergencies inevitably happen to many people. Those who do sports or other physical activities are especially prone to dental emergencies. Some of these include toothaches, broken braces and wires, a cut or broken lip, tongue, or cheek, a broken or fractured tooth, and more. We can help you with all of these dental emergencies, even if you have knocked out a tooth. Learn what you can do when a dental emergency happens and how we can restore your smile once more!
Common Dental Emergencies
A dental emergency is a problem that must receive immediate attention in order to save a tooth. Some of the most common dental emergencies are broken or chipped teeth, or fractured teeth. A knocked-out tooth is also a common dental emergency, and not one that any patient ever wants to have, as they could lose their tooth for good. Other dental emergencies include toothaches, broken braces and wires, and a cut or bitten tongue, lip or cheek. Thankful, dental emergencies don’t happen to everyone often. However, they may happen to every patient once or more in their life. In fact, about 1 in 6 Americans experience a dental emergency every year.
It’s important to know what to do when a dental emergency happens. As always, call the dentist immediately if you have broken, chipped, fractured, or knocked out a tooth. The first hour is critical in saving a tooth. If it is a weekend and we are not in the office, there is always a way to reach us for emergencies. Call our office as soon as a dental emergency happens. If the emergency is severe (like a car accident where you knocked out teeth but also had other injuries), then seek medical attention.
What To Do
There are specific actions you can take with different dental emergencies. Here are some tips after you have called our office for help:
- Broken tooth – The first hour is really important for saving a broken tooth. When you break a tooth, rinse the area with warm water. To help with pain and swelling, put a cold compress over the facial area where you lost your tooth. Try to recover broken tooth fragments if possible and keep the fragments in water.
- Knocked-out tooth – For this emergency, it’s critical to keep the tooth wet so it doesn’t dry out. Make sure you only handle the tooth by the crown and not the tooth root. Don’t clean the tooth or handle it more than is necessary. If possible, reinsert the tooth into the socket where it was knocked out. Only do this for older patients and not children, as children can swallow a tooth. Hold the tooth in place in your mouth with cloth or a piece of gauze until you receive dental help. If you can’t put the tooth back in its socket, then keep it in a cup of water or milk to keep the tooth alive.
- Toothache – Most toothaches are related to tooth decay. Avoid tooth decay with frequent brushing and flossing, as well as seeing your dentist. Toothaches are not something you want to ignore. Call your dentist right away, as you could have an infection that is causing you pain.
- Cut or bitten tongue, lip or cheek – If you get a cut or bite one of these areas, apply pressure to the site. Keep doing this if the bleeding has not stopped. If bleeding is in large quantities or doesn’t stop after 15 or 20 minutes, consider going to an emergency room.
Reducing Your Risk
There are ways you can reduce your risk for a dental emergency. Many sudden dental emergencies happen from sports injuries or accidents. However, in many sports it is also required that players wear protective mouthguards to prevent the teeth from being broken or knocked out. Not all mouthguards are the same though. There are stock mouthguards that you can buy at the store. These are ready-to-wear and are one-size-fits-all. That means the guard won’t fit your teeth snug and you can still break teeth in sports. Boil and bite guards are better and can be molded to your teeth, but the fit won’t be as snug as you want.
We believe the Agility Guard is the best sports protection mouthguard you can get. Studies show that athletes can potentially improve their athletic performance by using a properly-designed mouthguard. Why? Because players can focus on the game instead of worrying about protecting their teeth. When accidents do happen, the injuries are not as severe with a mouthguard, or they are nonexistent. That would give any athlete an edge. You can prevent a major dental emergency by simply putting something in your mouth, so it’s worth the few minutes it takes to do so.
A Healthy Smile for Life
To prevent many dental emergencies from happening, you must take care of your teeth! You can do this each day through practicing great oral hygiene habits and wearing protective mouthguards for your teeth. We can help you to know what oral habits you need to make part of your day. We can also fit you for an Agility Guard if you want to improve your athletic performance and protect your smile. If you have lost or broken a tooth and it can’t be saved, we have services such as dental implants and porcelain veneers that are available for you to fix your smile. Simply call Dr. Ania’s office today at (303) 872-9940 and schedule your consultation!