Unfortunately, accidents do happen. It’s important to know what to do in a dental emergency because it could mean all the difference in saving or losing a tooth! No matter what kind of emergency it is, it is important to see your dentist as soon as possible after the incident has occurred. Here’s a guide to what you should do in the most common dental emergencies:
You chip or crack a tooth:
If you crack a tooth, immediately rinse your mouth with water to clean the area. If you chip a tooth, try and save any broken pieces. There is a strong possibility that swelling will occur, so place a cold compress onto the area to minimise this. Make an appointment with your dentist as soon as you can to have it repaired.
You knock out a tooth:
It is important to keep the tooth that has been knocked out moist at all times to keep it healthy. If you can, place it back in the tooth’s socket or inside your mouth between your check and gums. This is the best environment for the tooth to be in. If you are unable to do this, place it in a jar of milk and get to your dentist as soon as possible. There is the highest possibility of your tooth being able to be saved if you see your dentist within one hour of the incident occurring.
You break your jaw:
If you suspect that your jaw might be broken, immediately apply a cold compress to reduce inflammation. Immediately go to your dentist or the emergency department at the hospital to get an x-ray.
A tooth becomes partially dislodged:
Try to relieve pain by applying a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or by taking an over-the-counter pain medication. See your dentist as soon as possible.
Soft tissue injuries:
These are injuries to the soft tissue inside your mouth such as your tongue, cheeks, lips and gums, which cause bleeding. Your first priority is to control the bleeding by rinsing out your mouth with warm, salty water, applying pressure to the affected area with a moistened piece of gauze and reducing swelling by applying a cold compress. If the bleeding does not stop, go directly to your dentist or doctor and continue to apply pressure on the area until you can be treated.