Common dental office emergencies

Injuries to the mouth are not usually life threatening. However, they can warrant a visit to the emergency department or at least to your dentist. There are a number of steps that should be taken at home. These will make the patient more comfortable while waiting for medical assistance.

If you are suddenly in excruciating pain due to a toothache, you should rinse your mouth with warm water and use dental floss in order to make sure there is no food or other bits caught between your teeth. If that does not help, you can take an over the counter painkiller and call your dental office if the pain persists. However, you should never put an aspirin against your gums, especially near the aching tooth, because it can burn the gum tissue.

Another common dental emergency occurs when a person accidentally biting the inside of his or cheek or tongue. If this happens to you, clean the area gently with a cloth and then apply pressure and cold compresses in order to stop the bleeding and reduce swelling. If the bleeding does not stop after 15 minutes, you should go to a hospital emergency room immediately.

When something is stuck between your teeth you should try to get it out with dental floss. Be gentle and careful so that you avoid cutting your gums. In addition, you should never use a sharp object to remove something stuck between your teeth. If the dental floss does not get the item out, call your dentist.

If you chip or break a tooth, begin care by rinsing your mouth with warm water. You should also use cold compresses to help reduce swelling. You should also call your dentist immediately because pain is a sign that you have broken through the enamel layer and either reached the underlying layer of dentin which is sensitive because it contains nerve endings or you have gone even deeper into the pulp. If that is the case, you may see pink and may bleed a bit. Additionally, pain can also be a warning that the tooth is fractured below the gum line where you cannot see the break.

A broken jaw is usually painful and causes both swelling and bruising. Moreover, you may not be able to close your jaw or get your upper and lower teeth to align properly. In order to control swelling, you should apply a cold compress. You can also stabilize the jaw by using a bandage that is wrapped beneath the jaw and tied on top of the head. Additionally, a broken or dislocated jaw can cause breathing problems and/or significant bleeding. Therefore, if you believe this is the case, you should go to your dentist or a hospital emergency department immediately.

There are simple precautions that can be taken in order to avoid accident and injury to your teeth. They include wearing a mouth guard when participating in sports or recreational activities, not chewing ice, popcorn kernels, or hard candy because they can crack a tooth, and never use your teeth to cut anything.

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