5 Steps To Take During A Dental Emergency

Dental emergencies don't always happen on an everyday basis. But if a dental emergency strikes, the effects can be harmful. Before discussing the following actionable steps to take during a dental emergency, knowing what makes up an urgent dental situation is important. This way, you’ll be able to avoid aggravating the dental problem and deal with the situation without panicking.

What Is A Dental Emergency?  

People seek dental treatment to alleviate pain immediately, stop bleeding, and prevent tooth loss, and address dental emergencies. A dental emergency refers to an oral health condition requiring immediate attention from a dentist. For example, severe pain is a dental emergency. On the other hand, a loss of filling or crown or a chipped tooth doesn't require urgent treatment.  

But what should you do if you encounter a dental emergency? Check out this list of steps, so you know what to do during a dental emergency.  

  1. Contact A Dentist  

The first step in any dental emergency case is seeking prompt treatment by contacting a dentist. While medical doctors can provide pain relievers and antibiotics, only a qualified dentist can perform a dental emergency procedure.  

The indications of emergency care include severe pain and bleeding. Other signs include a swollen jaw, a dental abscess, a numb tooth, bleeding gums, or worsening canker.  

The dentist will evaluate the dental emergency to determine if the issue is manageable or refer you to an oral surgeon if necessary. An oral surgeon is needed if the dental emergency requires a tooth extraction, a gum tissue repair, or if there’s a jaw bone injury.  

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  1. Assess The Situation  

Assess your dental situation. Watch out for profuse bleeding that may require first aid treatment to control or stop bleeding. Severe toothache needs prompt intervention too to avoid panic, especially for children. In addition, you need to check if you have a missing or knocked-out tooth. 

  1. Control Or Stop Bleeding 

If you have a knocked-out tooth or a gum injury that results in bleeding, it's essential to control or stop it. You can rinse your mouth with a mild saline solution. Control the bleeding by applying a moist gauze to the bleeding site. A tea bag is an excellent alternative to a moist gauze. Hold the gauze in place for about 15 to 20 minutes.  

Relieve severe pain and control severe bleeding by holding a cold compress to the affected area for about 5 to 10 minutes. Apply a cold compress outside of the cheek, mouth, or lip near the affected tooth. You can also add slight pressure around the bleeding gum area to reduce bleeding. 

  1. Relieve Toothache  

Pain is a severe issue in oral health, which involves the teeth and gums. Even a minor toothache can be troublesome. More so for severe toothache. Children and older adults are vulnerable groups who suffer more from a toothache, which prompts the need to see a dentist right away.  

Here are some tips to help relieve toothache in a dental emergency case: 

  • Keep Your Head Elevated: Elevating your head can help prevent the pressure of blood flow into your head and mouth. It helps improve blood circulation, relieve swelling, and alleviate pain. 
  • Use a Cold Compress: A cold application constricts the blood vessels, slowing blood flow to the affected area, numbing the pain, and reducing inflammation and swelling. Apply a cold compress for not more than 10 minutes to allow sufficient blood flow.
  • Take Painkillers: You can relieve severe toothache by taking over-the-counter medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or acetaminophen.

  1. Preserve The Knocked-Out Tooth 

A sudden blow or punch or a facial accident caused by a blunt object can cause a knocked-out tooth. Playing contact sports is one of the common causes of this condition. The good news is, timely medical attention can help replace the tooth in the socket successfully. 

The knocked-out tooth should stay moist in your mouth (next to the cheek). If the tooth is impossible to place in its original socket, put it in an emergency tooth preservation kit or milk. Never use regular tap water because the root surface cells can't tolerate that for extended periods.

Take Proper Steps To Deal With A Dental Emergency

Dental emergencies warrant immediate dental treatment performed by a qualified dentist. However, there are steps you can do right away to avoid worsening the problem. When you do experience a dental emergency, be mindful of the signs of dental emergencies and seek appropriate consultation. 

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