It’s important to recognise what constitutes a dental emergency. Many people often rush to the dentist when there may be no need to. Although a chipped tooth or a lost filling may require a visit to the dentist, they are not dental emergencies.
If you’ve answered yes to any of the below questions, then you need to visit the dentist immediately to have the problem resolved:
- Is your mouth bleeding?
- Are you in severe pain?
- Have you lost any teeth?
- Do you have swelling in the mouth or facial area?
- Were you recently hit in the mouth area?
It’s also worth noting that those who are most at risk of needing emergency dental work done include:
- Young children
- Sports players, especially contact sports
- People with tongue or lip piercings
Tips for Dealing with a Dental Emergency
For toothaches – Rinse your mouth with warm water and gently use some floss or an interdental brush to get rid of food and debris. This ensures that the tooth area remains clean. It’s important to not put painkillers near the gums of the aching tooth as it may cause burns to gum tissue.
For a broken tooth
Clean the area with warm water and cover the tooth in a sterile gauze to protect it from exposure to germs. Visit your dentist immediately after adding a cold compress to your face to reduce the swelling.
For a knocked out tooth – Ensure that you can find the tooth. Often it gets stuck in the gums so be sure to check here. Keep the tooth moist by placing the lost tooth back into its socket. If it is not possible to place it back in the socket, then put it in a glass of milk. Seek dental treatment immediately.