Health , Fitness & Wellness

Helpful Dental Emergency Tips

Teeth chipping after a meal, bleeding gums, or a mouth injury that causes extreme or recurring toothaches—are dental emergencies you need to pay attention to immediately. Ignoring them or failing to seek emergency dental care may result in irreparable damage. You could be paying more for surgery or some complex treatment that costs a fortune. 

Because dental emergencies often occur on the spur of the moment, catching you off-guard, you should be able to respond quickly and accordingly. Call an ambulance if you must. The mouth and the pulps within your teeth connect to the nervous system. During a dental emergency, there is a high probability the pain will also affect other parts of your body. 

What to Do During an Oral Medical Emergency?

You have some choices to make. However, the best ones would be: 

1) to go directly to a hospital, where you can get initial treatment in the emergency room before seeing a dentist;

2) to contact an emergency dentist in Canberra and have your teeth or gum problem treated.

For severe injuries or when pain becomes intolerable, the ER should always be your first recourse. Some dental clinics offering 24/7 emergency services do have their own ER. That is  why if there are emergency dentists in your area, take note of their address and contact information. Always keep the list nearby, so you can easily get in touch with one the moment you’re beset with sudden teeth or gum problems. Most dental practices are reachable through an emergency number and offer after-hour dental care for urgent cases.

At times it’s difficult to identify a serious dental issue from a regular one as even a problem as simple as a broken tooth has the tendency to evolve into a more serious condition. When pain and discomfort start affecting your day-to-day life, an emergency appointment may be in order. Otherwise, just wait for the dental clinic to open or raise your concern during your regular schedule. Ideally, however, it is not advisable to delay diagnosis and treatment. 

Typical Dental Emergencies to Watch out For

There are various types of dental emergencies. Each may require a different treatment. Some are more extensive than others. Here are some common dental emergencies you need to know just in case:

1. Persistent toothaches

Toothache is by far the most common type of oral health emergency. The good news is you can apply first aid at home to relieve pain. Either rinse your mouth with warm salted water or press an ice pack against your cheek or the affected area outside of your mouth. Painkillers like paracetamol, ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen also help and are readily available for purchase over-the-counter at pharmacies. For excessive pain, see an emergency dentist and have your toothache treated accordingly, or ask them to prescribe you a more potent pain reliever 

2. Broken or Cracked Tooth

Warm water is still a great initial treatment. Clean the cracked tooth gently before rinsing it with warm water. Press an ice pack or cold compress against the swollen or aching area of your face. Broken or cracked tooth seems harmless at first, and you can leave it alone for a time. But because food and debris easily get stuck in a broken tooth, the problem will grow bigger sooner or later if left untreated. Frequent use can also cause cracked teeth to break easily.  

3. Tooth Loss

Tooth loss will always require emergency treatment. Preserve your tooth (where possible) and show it to your dentist for further diagnosis. When the teeth separate from the gums, pain and heavy bleeding usually follow, whether or not the roots remain intact. There are a variety of options to choose from, but it’s wise to discuss the next step with your dentist. You can opt for a dental implant or a bridge supported by either an implant or tooth. If you find such methods costly or risky, a flipper or removable partial dentures could be good for you. 

4) Gum disease

Excessive or frequent swelling and bleeding are possible indicators of an undiagnosed gum disease. DIY treatments for progressive gum problems are just band-aid solutions. To cure them, you need professional dental intervention. Delaying treatment will only invite infection and, in some cases, a stabbing pain in the affected tooth. Your mouth could taste or smell foul too. But a gum disease does not always lead to surgery and you’ll be able to overcome it in no time, provided you have regular treatment sessions, follow the dentist’s advice and change your eating habits. 

Always Be Prepared

Arm yourself from any dental emergency by going to the dentist frequently. Adopt healthy teeth hygiene practices including visits to your hygienist. Since your lifestyle can also break or make your oral health conditions, mind what you eat and focus on nutrition at all times. Avoid delays and act swiftly whenever you’re faced with an unavoidable tooth or gum problem. To prevent further damage and costs, consider every dental issue an emergency and get treated right away.

Victoria Gill

Digital creative and content creator specialising in real estate. I mostly write about first-time homebuying, investment properties, off market buy-and-sell, and property bidding. Currently associated with Canberra Property Buyers Solutions, a team of independent buyers advocates servicing the ACT area.

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