How To Deal with Dental Emergencies

Tips on What to Do at Home Before Reaching the Dentist

Dental emergencies, like all emergencies, come unannounced and can cause a lot of pain and inconvenience. Sometimes, help is not within immediate reach. As they say, "Forewarned is forearmed." These tips are meant to help you know what to do at home before you are able to consult with your dentist.

  1. Pain: Look for the site of the pain.
    • Tooth. If there is a cavity, you can apply a clove oil pellet in it.
    • Gums. It is safe to apply gum paint.

    A painkiller like Brufen can generally be taken. When pregnant, only Paracetamol can be taken in the case of emergency (at the lowest effective dose and for the shortest time possible). Consult your dentist as soon as possible. Do not take over-the-counter drugs from the pharmacy. Home remedies can help, but are not the treatment. Relief in your pain does not mean that you should delay treatment.

  2. Swelling: Swelling can be extra-oral or intra-oral. Never put hot compresses on the extra-oral or facial dental swelling. Heat can spread infection to other spaces in the facial region, which, if not treated in time, can lead to Ludwig's angina, a type of cellullitis of the floor of the mouth under the tongue (which is life-threatening). Hot saline gargles are appropriate and cold compresses can also be given safely.
  3. Fracture:
    • Tooth. Consult dentist immediately. If minor, a filling can be done. If major, splinting or root canal treatment may be required.
    • Jaw. Make a supportive bandage and consult a dentist specializing in oral surgery immediately.
  4. Orthodontic: If a wire is broken, apply chewing gum on it so that it doesn't impinge on the gum. If a bracket is broken, take it off. Consult with your orthodontist as soon as possible.
  5. Avulsion: If the tooth comes out entirely, pick it up carefully from the crown side without touching the root, as the root fibers could become damaged. Do not wash it. Put it in milk. If it's not dirty, then it can be put in the mouth of the patient. If the patient is a child, then put it in the mouth of the parent. The tooth can be replanted in the socket within 30 minutes or in humid conditions, within 2 hours. So consult the dentist immediately for replantation of an avulsed tooth.
  6. Hypersensitivity: Hypersensitivity is mainly due to dentine exposure. Causes: Hypersensitivity can be due to overzealous brushing, incorrect brushing technique (leading to chipping off of enamel), and excessive intake of an acidic diet (beverages, citrus fruits, etc.). These dissolve the enamel, gradually exposing the underlying dentine (which is sensitive). Remedy: Avoid the above-mentioned irritants, apply desensitizing toothpastes, and consult your dentist.

To maintain good oral hygiene, use mouthguards during sports, avoid misuse of the teeth (such as using them as nutcrackers or bottle openers), and use a soft toothbrush correctly to brush teeth.

jasmin nanda
 

Share this article!

Follow us!

Find more helpful articles:

Comments

May
27

Hi Sangeeta,
Thanks for your kind words.

By jasmin nanda
Jan
20

great article, useful tips. Have a good day!

By Jamie Vitton
Jan
20

i liked your tips, it helped me in taking care of my teeth.

By Prashant Nanda
Jan
19

Thanks for the good words.
Orthodontist is the specialist dentist who straightens the crooked teeth.
Avulsion means when the whole tooth especially the anterior teeth come out of the socket, accidentally.

By jasmin nanda
Jan
19

Dear Jasmin,

Useful tips. I felt, you could have given explanatary note or meaning for Orthodontist, Avulsion etc., because common readers may not understand them.

CV Rajan

By Anonymous
Jan
18

Good advice, I have a fractured tooth and will act immediately. Thank you.

By Dalton Khamala