6 Steps To Take During A Dental Emergency

May 19, 2023

6 Steps To Take During A Dental Emergency
Vertical root fracture - cracked tooth

Accidents happen constantly; when they do, you must take proactive steps. The situation can go from bad to worse quickly if you don't. The same goes for dental emergencies. If you have a sudden jolt of pain in your mouth or get hit in the jaw with something heavy, you’ll likely lose a tooth and experience bleeding.

Situations like this can be scary and extremely painful. Sometimes, it may cause you to panic and feel overwhelmed by the different sensations.

Here are some common dental emergencies:

• Severe toothache
• Knocked out tooth due to a sports injury
• Broken, chipped, or cracked tooth
• Lost dental crown
• Loose dental filling
• Abscessed tooth because of gum infection
• Broken or dislodged orthodontic appliance
• Soft tissue injuries 
• Jaw pain due to trauma or accident
• Gum inflammation
• Severe oral bleeding due to an injury or surgery

These dental emergencies may happen to you or anyone you love. It’s best to head to reliable dental clinics such as Green Apple Dental in Surrey or similar ones in your area for the best dental intervention.

What To Do In A Dental Emergency

It's essential to be alert and cautious to avoid aggravating the affected area. Here are six steps to take when encountering such emergencies:

1. Stay Calm
Seeing blood or feeling excruciating pain can raise your stress and anxiety levels. Hence, it helps if you stay calm. Take deep breaths and try to compose yourself. You can think better and more clearly when you're relaxed.

2. Assess The Situation
Identify the cause of the emergency and the severity of the situation. It can help you determine the next appropriate steps, such as applying first aid measures to mitigate the injury. Each dental emergency requires a different action.

For example, if you suffer from a broken tooth, rinsing your mouth with warm water and applying a cold compress may help reduce the swelling. Meanwhile, you must contact your dentist immediately if your tooth gets knocked out.

3. Stop The Bleeding
If you're bleeding because of an injury, finding a way to stop it is vital. Here are some of the things you can do:
• Apply firm but gentle pressure on the area using a clean cloth or gauze for 10 to 15 minutes. 
• Rinse your mouth with cold water to reduce the bleeding. Remember to avoid warm water or mouthwash as it can intensify the bleeding.
• Use a black tea bag. The tannins in the tea can help constrict blood vessels and reduce bleeding.
• Apply a cold compress.

You must try to manage the bleeding because you might suffer from blood loss if you don't. Seeking medical assistance is best if it's uncontrollable and accompanied by dizziness and weakness. 

4. Manage The Pain And Swelling
Pain and swelling can accompany a dental emergency. The symptoms may be uncomfortable and debilitating. Take over-the-counter pain relievers to ease the pain and reduce the swelling. Rinsing with salt water may also help. Mix a teaspoon of salt in warm water and swish it around your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting it out. Do this several times a day or as needed.

5. Save Your Tooth
If your tooth got knocked out whole, you can still save it. Once you find the tooth, grab it by the crown and avoid touching the root. Rinse it gently with warm water and avoid scrubbing it. You may carefully put it back on the socket.

If it comes out and there's a risk of losing it, you may put it in a container with milk, saline solution, or your saliva. Keep it there until you meet your dentist.  Your dentist can still reattach your tooth using a splint or orthodontic wire.
It's better to have your original tooth than replace it with a denture because it would look more natural. So, try your best to save your tooth and follow the necessary steps to avoid ruining its integrity.

6. Contact Your Dentist
What if your dental emergency happened outside clinic hours or even on holiday? In this case, you can call your dentist, so they can discuss the essential steps with you over the phone, especially if they can't see you immediately. If they can attend to you on short notice, there's still no harm in contacting them during an emergency.

Being prepared in a dental emergency can make all the difference. If you ever find yourself in one, take a deep breath and consider the abovementioned steps. Maintaining your composure and clear thinking is necessary to help you take the next appropriate steps.


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