You’ve just taken a hockey puck to the face and feel extreme pain. You know you are experiencing a dental emergency, so what do you do? There are many cases where you need dental care immediately or you will have costly repairs. These can lead to possible infections or even tooth loss. Here are 5 steps to take when experiencing that dental emergency.
Preserve the Tooth
Preserve any teeth that have been knocked out. The Village Dental Center defines “a tooth that has been dislodged” as a dental emergency. In order to save teeth that have been knocked out it is important to “rinse the tooth gently to clean it, but do not scrub it.”
You should store the tooth inside the mouth so that saliva will help preserve it or store the tooth in a cup of milk. If emergency treatment is given within two hours, the chances of saving the tooth are increased. It is also important to note to not try to put the tooth back into its socket. If you try to put the tooth back where it was it can hurt your gum more and possibly cut it.
Clean the Area
Make sure that you clean the wounds with moist clothes and rinse your mouth with plain water. If you get infections in your mouth it can spread throughout your body and create more problems that might require a hospital visit. Just like a tooth that was knocked out, you need to be gentle with teeth that are still in your mouth. Make sure that you are very gentle when cleaning any of your teeth from blood or any other debris.
Stop the Bleeding
Stop the bleeding. In the case of a wound try to ease swelling or bleeding with cold compresses. If there is a lot of blood and the wound continues to bleed after 15 minutes get to a hospital emergency room!
See the Dentist
Get to the dentist fast. The faster you get to a professional the higher the chance of saving your teeth. Make sure that you get moving as fast as you can. Try to see the dentist within 30 minutes for loose adult teeth and within four hours for knocked-out permanent teeth.
Rinse with Warm Water
In the case of extreme tooth pain make sure to rinse with warm tap water. It is important to also remove food from between the teeth with dental floss. Make sure you never use aspirin in the case of bleeding gums, as this can prevent clotting and doesn’t help to stop the bleeding.
There you have it. You’ve made it safely to the dentist or in extreme cases the hospital. You provide the lost tooth in a cool glass of milk; your mouth has been cleaned and you’ve stopped the bleeding with a cold pack of corn and peas you found in your fridge. Your dentist congratulates you on getting to him in a record time of 15 minutes and he can save your teeth. With a sigh of relief, you sink into the reclining chair and fall into a deep calm sleep.