Sometimes a dental emergency can happen when you least expect it.
If a dental emergency does arise and you are not able to visit the dentist right away, there are some steps you can take to temporarily cope with the emergency. Below is a list of what to do for some common dental problems and suggestions on how quickly you should visit your Burnaby Dentist.
Toothache or Tooth Pain
A toothache is pain in or around a tooth. The pain may be caused by a number of dental problems such as an abscessed tooth, gum infection, cavity, crown coming loose, dental work, sinusitis or a recent trauma or injury to the teeth.
The first thing you will want to do is clean out your mouth. Rinse your mouth with a warm water and salt mixture. Mix together 1/2 cup of lukewarm water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Swish and gargle the salt water mix in your mouth for one minute, then spit and rinse with lukewarm water. The salt water will also help relieve the pain for a few hours. Repeat as often as needed.
You can also take over-the-counter pain medication to help relieve pain. Be sure to follow the manufacturers directions and ask your pharmacist for a recommendation for medications that work best on toothaches.
A numbing gel will also help provide some relief from the pain. Be sure to follow the manufacturers directions.
Depending on the severity of the chip, often chipped teeth can be saved. If you are not experiencing pain, then do not stress about seeing your dentist immediately as this is not considered a dental emergency. It is still advised to see your dentist as soon as you can during regular dental office hours to avoid any further damage to the tooth.
With a chipped tooth, take caution with not cutting your tongue as the chipped tooth will most likely be sharp.
Cracked, Fractured or Broken Tooth
A cracked or fractured tooth is considered a dental emergency and you should contact your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist will determine the severity and damage to the tooth and then provide treatment.
Pain from a broken or cracked tooth may be constant or come and go, so until you are able to see your dentist follow these steps:
Rinse your mouth with a warm water and salt mixture. Mix together 1/2 cup of lukewarm water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Swish and gargle the salt water mix in your mouth for one minute, then spit and rinse with lukewarm water.
If the trauma to the tooth was a result of impact to the face then apply a cold compress to the area to minimize any swelling.
If you are experiencing bleeding, apply pressure to the area with a piece of gauze for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops.
You can also take ibuprofen to help relieve pain. Be sure to follow the manufacturers directions.
Knocked Out Tooth
If your tooth has been knocked out you will need to call your dentist immediately for an emergency appointment. In many cases, a knocked out tooth can be saved and re-implanted. Timing is crucial however, as a knocked out tooth is more likely to be preserved if it is re-implanted within 30-60 minutes from the time it was knocked out.
Immediately after the tooth has been knocked out, follow these steps:
Pick up the tooth by the crown (the top of the tooth) and avoid handling the bottom of the tooth where the root is. Touching the root of of the tooth can potentially cause damage to the cells needed to re-attached the tooth to the bone.
Next gently rinse the tooth to clean off any dirt or debris. Be careful not to scrub the tooth or remove and tissue that may be attached to the tooth.
After your tooth is well rinsed, if you can, gently place the tooth back in the socket and bite down on a gauze pad to hold the tooth in place. Only do this however, if the tooth is an adult tooth. If you are not able to do this then wrap the tooth in a cloth and place it in a container of milk or saline solution. It is important the the tooth not dry out.
If a baby tooth is knocked out, do not try to insert it into the socket as this might damage the bud of the not yet developed permanent tooth.
Filling Falls Out
If a filling comes out of your tooth your dentist will be able to fix it. The first thing you need to do is make sure to remove all the pieces of filling from your mouth.
If you are experiencing pain, take over-the-counter pain medication to help relieve pain. Be sure to follow the manufacturers directions and ask your pharmacist for a recommendation for medication.
Until the filling is redone, it is advised to avoid chewing on the side of the mouth where the filling fell out. An unfilled tooth can easily trap food and cause bacteria to accumulate and lead to decay. Take care when brushing your teeth and brush gently inside the hole of the tooth to remove all food debris.
If the feeling of missing the filling is bothersome, you can also place a piece of chewed up sugarless chewing gum in the spot where the filling is missing.
Make an appointment to see your doctor within the next couple of days.
Crown Falls Out
If a crown falls out, you will want to see your dentist right away and bring the crown with you. In the mean time, if you are able to you can either temporarily re-cement the crown back in place or store it until you see your dentist. For both, you’ll first want to clean the crown and then dry it.
To temporarily re-cement the crown back in place, do this by coating the inner surface of the crown with dental cement or denture adhesive and then placing back on the tooth. Never use super glue as it’s dangerous and can damage the crown and tooth.
Be sure to keep the area where the crown fell out clean. Also note that that since the tooth might be still alive you may experience more sensitivity to hot or cold foods.
If you are experiencing pain, apply clove oil to the sensitive area. You can also take over-the-counter pain medication to help relieve pain.
We understand that a dental emergency can be frightening and even traumatic experience. The Dentists at North Burnaby Dental Group understand this and are dedicated to helping their patients through any dental emergency.
If you experience a dental emergency during regular business hours, please call our office for immediate assistance. After hours or holidays, call the office for the recording with the phone number of the Dentist on call to contact them directly for assistance.