Everyone needs to know how to deal with a dental emergency to save a tooth or prevent infection in soft tissues of the mouth. Families can benefit from having a plan in place to know exactly what to do when a tooth is broken or dislocated from the mouth during a fall or while playing sports. Additional dental emergencies that individuals should prepare for include incurring tooth damage while chewing hard food or having an infection in gum tissue.
One: Have a Nearby Family Dentist
Having a nearby family dentist is helpful when there is a dental emergency to get fast treatment, and dentists respond to emergencies and have a telephone number to call when a dental facility is closed. If a family dentist is out of town, then they will recommend another dental facility. When patients have visited a dentist twice a year for cleanings and treatments, the professional has recent X-rays to understand specialized mouth structure.
Two: Contact a Dentist Immediately
Never delay contacting a dentist after chipping or dislocating a tooth because bacteria can enter the damaged area and nerves begin to die. To protect a broken, chipped or dislocated tooth, pick it up gently before placing it in a damp cloth or cup of water and never attempt to wash away the debris on the tooth or chip because this creates more damage. If an adult can insert a dislocated tooth into gum tissue safely, this is also a recommended way to preserve the tooth until reaching a dentist’s office.
Three: Oral Cavity Pain is an Emergency
Intense pain or swelling of oral cavity tissues is an emergency that requires fast treatment, and until reaching the dental facility, an individual can place an ice pack or warm compress on their face to reduce pain or swelling. It is also possible to swish warm water mixed with table salt inside the mouth to have some relief from discomfort. Visiting a dentist as quickly as possible can prevent the spread of infection in gum tissue to avoid problems in the jawbone.
Four: Complications after Dental Surgery
Wisdom tooth extraction is one of the most common dental surgeries, and patients need to prepare in case they develop a dry socket. Dry sockets are the result of the extraction site not developing a blood clot, leading to infection in the opening that spreads quickly into soft tissue and bone. If an individual begins to experience additional pain, headaches or dizziness after having a tooth extracted, then visiting a dentist as soon as possible can prevent problems. The typical course of treatment for this condition is for the dentist to clean the extraction site with antiseptic before prescribing oral antibiotics.