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What to do when facing a dental emergency

Dental emergencies might not appear to be life and death. However, the consequences of neglecting your teeth when urgent treatment is needed can result in extensive damage, lifelong discomfort, not to mention painful and expensive procedures to repair the issue later.

So what should you do when these emergencies arise? The answer is, more than you would think. There are a few proactive approaches you can take during the time it takes you to see an emergency dentist in Southgate. Read on to find out what constitutes a dental emergency, how to act to preserve your teeth or relieve symptoms, and what a dentist can do for you.

What is a dental emergency?

There’s often confusion among patients about what constitutes a dental emergency. For example, a slightly chipped tooth might not look great, but chances are the problem won’t need to be attended to straight away, although the issue should be treated in due course.

A specialist will tell you that severely fractured or knocked-out teeth, as well as blinding toothache and unusual, rapid swelling could point to a tooth abscess.

What you can do?

There are a few things you can do to save teeth or alleviate pain, depending on the severity and nature of your issue.

Tooth pain

While people commonly experience toothache, it’s generally a symptom of a more severe issue that shouldn’t be ignored.

In any case, if you’re experiencing tenderness and don’t have over the counter medication, rinse your mouth with warm water and press a cold compress against the affected site if the pain is accompanied by swelling. Floss too – the pain you’re suffering from might be caused by food jutting into your gum.

If you do have medicine for pain, never place it against the gum by the tooth as this could burn the tissue and cause you further harm.

Broken or fractured teeth

A mouth injury can be hugely traumatic. However, it’s important to act fast by collecting any tooth fragments. Rinse off these broken pieces and keep them safe until you visit your dental practitioner.

Stop any bleeding with gauze, or if you don’t have many medical supplies, tea bags are also fine for absorbing blood.

Knocked out tooth

A knocked-out pearly white can be a hair-raising situation.

You’ll need to see a dentist at your earliest convenience, and the longer you wait, the smaller your chances are of saving the tooth. The methods below to preserve the tooth may help.

  • Pick up the tooth by the crown
  • Rinse off the tooth root with saliva
  • Try repositioning the tooth in place. Otherwise, place it in milk to keep it moisturised.
  • See your dentist within an hour.

The role of your dentist during a dental emergency

Your oral health practitioner will perform a full mouth examination to assess the damage, following which X-rays may be taken. The affected site will be cleaned and sterilised to remove harmful bacteria. Depending on what the resulting treatment needs to be, anaesthesia may be administered.

Dental emergencies need to be prioritised – don’t wait until it’s too late!

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