Toothaches and Dental Emergencies
Dental emergencies can happen for any number of reasons, but when they do occur it is important to know what to do. The most important factor is to remain calm. Remember to contact your dentist after a visit to the emergency room for an oral injury as your dentist will be able to assist in the healing process as well as advise on the cosmetic aspect of your smile.
Simple toothaches can often be relieved by rinsing the mouth to clear it of debris and other matter. Sometimes, a toothache can be caused or aggravated by a piece of debris lodged between the tooth and another tooth. Avoid placing an aspirin between your tooth and gum to relieve pain, because the dissolving aspirin can actually harm your gum tissue.
Broken, Fractured, or Displaced Tooth:
A broken, fractured or displaced tooth is usually not a cause for alarm, as long as decisive, quick action is taken.
If you break, fracture, or knock a tooth out do not be alarmed if you take quick and decisive action the situation can usually be resolved.
First, rinse out any blood or debris with water and place an ice pack or cold cloth on the skin near the injury. This will help to control swelling.
If your tooth has been knocked out, and is still in one piece, attempt to put the tooth back into its socket while waiting to see your dentist.
If you cannot put the tooth back into its socket, pick up the tooth by the crown (not the root), and put it into a cup of saline solution, warm milk, or the victim’s own saliva and keep it in the cup until you see your dentist or you get to the emergency room.
If a tooth is fractured, it is best to rinse with a warm salt water solution and apply an icepack or cold cloth to the affected area. It may also help to use ibuprofen to control the swelling.
If minor enough, some fractures can be smoothed or restored by the dentist, assuming that the pulp is not severely damaged (a determination that will be made by your dentist).
If a baby (or primary) tooth is loosened by an injury or is being pushed out by a permanent tooth, try letting the child bite gently on an apple or piece of chewy candy; sometimes the tooth will easily come out of the surrounding tissue.
In any emergency situation, if you are unsure of what to do, you should contact the appropriate medical professional or emergency personnel.