Dental Emergencies – How and What
Any trauma to the mouth that may cause bleeding and lacerations to the gums, and dislodge or fracture teeth, and may require immediate medical attention. Whether the result of an accident or biting on a piece of food that’s too hard, mouth injuries can cause teeth to become cracked, broken, or knocked out/dislodged. It is important to see a dentist because if left untreated, a dental emergency can lead to serious complications. In older children and adults, sports injuries are common. Dentists estimate that between 13% and 39% of dental injuries occur while playing sports. About 80% of all dental injuries affect at least one of the front teeth. Damage to the tongue or cheek is common, too.
Avoid Mouth and Tooth Injuries
Even if a tooth has been knocked out, it often can be saved if you get to a dentist quickly enough. Minor chips and cracks can be repaired. Dentists use tooth-colored materials that are nearly as strong as the original tooth. However, even “minor” injuries can cause serious and costly damage. If you enjoy sports or other high-risk activities, protect yourself. The use of mouth guards among football players, for example, is believed to prevent about 200,000 mouth injuries a year.
Depending on the sport, two types of protection are available:
- Helmets — A helmet is a must for activities that involve speed or impact. These include football, hockey, skating and bike riding. The helmet should fit correctly. It should also be appropriate for the sport you are playing.
- Mouth guards — wearing a mouth guard is one of the best ways to prevent injury to your teeth, tongue and lips. A custom-fit mouth guard from your dentist is recommended. This type of mouth guard usually fits better than a ready-made one (found in sporting-goods stores). That means it may protect your teeth better.
How to address Dental emergencies?
If an Emergency occurs, it is important that you Call your dentist office as soon as you can for an appointment. Even though you may not feel pain, a tooth that has lost a filling or broken can be badly damaged. Quickly addressing the situation can help in avoiding extensive work like crowns, root canals, and extractions.
- If you have deep cuts on your lip, face, mouth from trauma you may want to seek urgent care first.
- If a tooth has been knocked out place it in milk and call for an immediate appointment.
- To manage a toothache—make sure the area is clean by swishing with warm salt water and flossing to dislodge food particles.
- Avoid chewing on that side of the mouth and stick to soft foods only.
- Schedule regular dental checkups to make sure all teeth are sound.
- Always make sure you are healthy before trips out of town to prevent emergency surprises.