There are dental emergencies you can avoid by just brushing and flossing better. Very few people are born with perfect smiles and you may have struggled to keep your mouth healthy and invested time and money to improve on what nature gave you.
Gum Infections can Get Out of Control Fast
But it’s easy to think that it doesn’t hurt to indulge in a lot of sweets as long as you brush the next day. Or the day after. Then suddenly a gum infection that is out of control causes one of your teeth to become so loose it needs to be extracted ASAP.
If you are surprised whenever the dental hygienist tells you that you have a lot of deep infected gum pockets, that they require antibiotic injections, or maybe gum surgery, it’s time to up your oral hygiene routine to avoid losing your teeth, the ultimate dental emergency.
Accidents can cause Unexpected Tooth Trauma
Then there are the vehicle or sports accidents that will turn your smile into a frown and it is important to know how to respond in the moment or it may cost you your unique smile. Maybe you thought you didn’t need to put on the seatbelt for a short trip or that a casual game of basketball with friends did not require wearing a mouthguard.
If you suffer a fractured tooth, rinse the area with salt water, and take ibuprophen or aspirin (even the traditional remedy of applying clove oil will reduce pain). Place a cold compress (even a bag of frozen vegetables) on the side of your face nearest to the injured tooth, taking it off and putting it on every 15 minutes to keep swelling down.
What to do if a Tooth is Knocked Out
If your tooth is knocked out, rinse it and try to put it back in–if it won’t easily fit into the socket, place it in milk or hold it between your cheek and gums until you see a doctor.
As soon as this first aid is done, call our Glendale dentist, Dr. Marine to see if she is immediately available to treat you during regular office hours or if she can come in for an emergency (carry the number of her nearest office with you at all times). If she cannot see you right then, go to an urgent care center and set up an appointment as soon as Dr. Marine is available.
Not all dental injuries are emergencies–if a filling falls out, you can apply first aid and bring in the filling if it is gold or ceramic. If a tooth has a minor chip from biting down on hard snacks, treat it as you would a fracture, but schedule an appointment, and just eat soft foods until then. If a crown or bridge comes off, try to put it back on with a dental adhesive and chew carefully in that area until treatment.