How to Prepare for a Dental Emergency

If you’ve ever experienced a dental emergency, you know how painful and stressful it can be if you don’t know what to do or have no expert to call. Below, we cover how to prepare for a dental emergency.

Dental emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere. Whether it’s a badly cracked tooth or severe dental pain, knowing what to do, whom to call, and where to go can make a lot of difference in preserving your dental health, minimizing your pain, and keeping your anxieties in check.

And while there is no way of knowing when or where this emergency will happen, there are ways to prepare yourself for such emergencies.

How to Prepare for a Dental Emergency

First, you have to know what constitutes a dental emergency. A dental problem is an emergency when it requires immediate attention, such as a severe toothache, a knocked-out tooth, soft tissue injury, dental abscesses, or severe bleeding.

Second, know how to manage dental emergencies until a dentist can see you.

Here are some dental emergencies and the best way to handle them.

Severe toothache

Rinse your mouth with warm water and floss to remove any food that may be lodged between your teeth. If your mouth is swollen, you can manage the pain by applying a cold compress.

You may also take painkillers like ibuprofen and naproxen for pain management. These may be taken three to four times daily, depending on the severity of the pain.

Remember never to apply aspirin or other pain relievers directly on the gum area.

Set an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

Knocked-out tooth

If you act fast, you can still save that tooth!

Holding it by the crown, rinse its root with water without scrubbing or removing any tissue fragments. If it is possible, you may try to put it back in its place without forcing it.

If this is impossible to do, put the tooth in a small milk container or in a cup of water with a pinch of table salt. Save-a-Tooth, a device that can protect the tooth on its way to the dentist, is a good tool that can save your smile if this type of emergency arises. See your dentist immediately.

Partially dislodged tooth

This is another emergency that requires you to see your dentist immediately. Take a pain reliever and apply a cold compress on the affected area outside of your mouth or cheek while on your way to the dentist. This will help you manage the pain.

Tooth abscess

A tooth abscess looks like a pimple, a boil or a swollen lump that is filled with pus. This is a manifestation of an infection that can cause damage to your oral tissues and to the bones and teeth around it. 

Without proper and immediate treatment, it can even cause havoc to other parts of your body. So, if you notice a tooth abscess, see your dentist as soon as you can.

Severe soft tissue injury

This can happen to your tongue, cheeks, gums, and lips and can result in continuous bleeding. To manage the bleeding, rinse your mouth well with a salt-water solution.

Apply pressure to the affected area using a moistened piece of clean gauze. Do this for 15 minutes.

You may also use a caffeinated tea bag to apply pressure instead of the gauze. The tannic acid in tea can help slow the bleeding down.

For pain relief, you may apply a cold compress on the outside area of your mouth or cheek.

In the unfortunate event that bleeding does not stop, call your dentist immediately or seek help at the nearest hospital. Keep applying pressure to the affected area until you are seen and treated by an expert.

Bleeding after a dental procedure

Using a clean gauze, apply pressure to the affected area for five minutes at a time and ensure that your head is elevated the whole time.

If there is continued bleeding even after pressure is applied, call your dentist at once. Don’t hesitate to go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital if your dentist is unavailable.

The third way to prepare for a dental emergency is to keep a dental emergency kit.

This kit is simple and easy to put together but it will surely make things easier and more manageable for you if an emergency occurs.

This kit should include the following:

  • Sterile gauze
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Floss
  • An emergency tooth preservation product like Save-a-Tooth
  • Pain killers
  • Your dentist’s name and contact information

It is also a great idea to keep a small kit with you in your car and at work.

Whenever you travel, it is also a good practice to keep a list of dental clinics (with contact numbers) in the area where you’re traveling. This will ensure that you get access to proper dental care just in case a dental emergency happens during one of your travels.

Have a Dentist Ready

Lastly, but certainly not the least important, is to have a trusted dentist and always have his name and contact information on your phone and in different areas of your house where it can be easily seen.

This will ensure that you and everyone else in your home always have easy access to the best expert help.

A dental emergency often involves a lot of pain, causes you a lot of anxiety, and prevents you from going to work or doing your chores. But being prepared for this unforeseen event can make things a lot easier and less painful for you.

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