The holidays can be a wonderful time of year but not if a dental emergency occurs. With so many foods and beverages available that are not part of your normal diet, you can easily become a victim of a serious toothache, infection, or even a chipped tooth or lost crown. Should something like this happen while trying to enjoy your time with family and friends, your emergency dentist in Spring Lake shares how you can handle these 7 dental crises during the holidays.
While a toothache can be caused by a variety of things, it’s likely that there might be something lodged in-between your teeth that is resulting in pain and discomfort. To remedy this issue, simply fix a glass of warm water and pour in a teaspoon of salt. Rinse your mouth with this combination before using waxed dental floss. You will gently move it back and forth between your teeth to remove the lodged object. You should call your dentist if you are unable to remove the item, all while placing a cold compress against your cheek to reduce swelling.
Chipped or Broken Tooth
Whether playing outside or cracking a nut with your tooth, should you notice that a piece of your pearly white has broken off or become chipped, make sure to retrieve the loose piece and rinse your mouth with saltwater. Use gauze to control any bleeding for 10 minutes or until it stops. Use a cold compress on the outside of your mouth to reduce swelling and help with pain or discomfort.
Time is of the essence when dealing with a knocked-out tooth. When this happens, grab the tooth by the crown and carefully rinse it off. If possible, attempt to put it back in the socket. If you are unsuccessful, place the tooth in a container of milk or next to your cheek inside your mouth. This will keep the tooth moist as you quickly drive to your dentist’s office. Make sure you alerted them to the situation, so you can get in to see a professional as soon as possible. If the tooth isn’t treated within an hour, your dentist may be unable to save it.
Partially Dislodged Tooth
An extruded tooth, also known as a partially dislodged tooth, can cause serious pain. To reduce the discomfort, try taking an over-the-counter pain reliever and using an ice pack or cold compress on the outside of the area that is affected. You will need to seek treatment sooner rather than later in order to keep from losing the tooth and requiring a replacement.
A lost crown can be unnerving and send you into panic mode, but as long as you don’t swallow it, you’ll be fine. Simply clean the tooth and crown gently before using a special paste to place it over your tooth. If you do not have dental paste, toothpaste will work as a temporary fix. Make sure to call your dentist’s office so that they can permanently fix your crown back onto your tooth.
If you notice sharp edges around a tooth, it’s likely that your filling came out. To quickly fix this type of problem, you will need some orthodontic wax that can be used to fill in the hole. You can find this at your local drug store. This will protect the tooth from cold temperature sensitivity as well as prevent food from becoming trapped in your tooth. It will be necessary for your dentist to fill the tooth once you are able to get in to seek treatment.
Infection / Abscess
If you see a pus-like growth above your infected tooth, you can bet it is an abscess. This type of infection is serious and can cause severe damage not only to your gums and teeth but to the rest of your body as well. You will need your dentist to properly treat the tooth and your gums but until you are able to see him, you can ease any pain you might be feeling and reduce swelling by rinsing your mouth with saltwater.
If you follow these simple steps, you will be able to handle any dental emergency that comes your way. If in doubt, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and call your dentist office immediately should a crisis situation arise.
About the Author
Dr. Edward J. Dooley, DMD, FICOI, attended the College of the Holy Cross for his undergraduate degree. He then went on to attend the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Dental Medicine to achieve his Doctor of Dental Medicine. Dr. Dooley is a veteran of the United States Navy, serving from 1982-1985. Providing comprehensive services, he and his team are prepared to help you and your family receive the dental care you need, especially when you need it most. Should a dental emergency arise, we are here to walk you through each and every step until you can make it to our office for an exam. If you are looking for ways to better prepare yourself should an accident occur, contact us via our website or by calling (732) 974-2288.