How to Handle Dental Emergencies

Dental emergencies should never be ignored; if you don't see an emergency dentist as soon as needed, you may be risking an oral infection or permanent tooth loss that could otherwise be avoided. Note a few tips for handling different dental emergencies so you have the best chance of recovery and don't aggravate any injuries to the mouth and jaw as well.

Pain and swelling 

Some people mistakenly put aspirin directly on the area inside the mouth and gum line that is swollen or in pain, but aspirin and other such painkillers may burn the sensitive tissue of the gum. Instead, use ice inside the mouth or swirl ice water in your mouth to dull the pain, and apply a cold compress on the outside of the cheek or jaw. Take the compress with you when you visit the emergency dentist to help alleviate the pain and keep the swelling to a minimum.

 Tooth loss

If you can retrieve a tooth that has been knocked out or that has fallen out, hold it by the crown; this is the top, or the part that you see when it's in the mouth. Rinse the bottom side of it if there is any dirt or debris. Never pick at the tooth, thinking you're removing excess debris, as you may be picking at its roots; a slight rinse is all it needs. 

Bring the tooth with you to the emergency dentist as he or she may be able to suture in back in place. If you can slide the tooth back into its socket, this can keep it protected while you make the trip, but don't try to force it into place. If it doesn't fit easily or your mouth is in too much pain to hold the tooth in place, put the tooth in a glass of milk or saltwater and carry it that way.

Partially dislodged tooth

If you've suffered an injury to your mouth or jaw and a tooth is partially dislodged, meaning it's been knocked loose but hasn't come out, don't try to put it back into place. The gums under the tooth may be swollen and sore and this could cause them further injury. Instead, apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth while on your way to an emergency dentist. If needed, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever but, as mentioned above, never apply this or any medication directly on the tooth so that you don't burn or injure the gum tissue.

For more information, contact a business such as Dental Smile Clinic.