Generally speaking, any dental problem that requires urgent professional help to either stop bleeding, relieve severe dental pain, or to save a tooth is considered an emergency. If you have a serious dental infection and are experiencing fever, breathlessness, slurred speech, or pale skin, you should also seek an emergency dental appointment.
So, what should you do in a dental emergency? Here are our top tips.
When you are in pain or there is a great deal of blood, it can be easy to panic. The same is true if you are attending to another person who is obviously in distress. Nevertheless, it is important to stay calm. When people panic, they are more likely to act irrationally and without thinking, and this can actually make a medical emergency worse. Take some deep breaths and stay calm. If you are with someone who is panicking, help them to control their breathing so that they can get their anxiousness under control.
Administer immediate first aid
Depending on the type of emergency that you are facing, it may be necessary to apply some immediate first aid before doing anything else. Examples include using a clean cloth to stem significant bleeding, collecting and storing a knocked-out tooth, or rinsing your mouth. A home first aid kit usually has any equipment that may be needed to administer any urgent care that is needed. Here are some of the most common dental emergencies and the immediate care that you can provide:
Knocked out tooth: if you can, find the tooth and preserve it in a beaker of milk or water, being careful not to touch the roots.
Excessive bleeding: use a clean cloth to staunch the flow of blood.
Cracked or broken tooth: remove and collect any pieces and rinse your mouth.
Severe dental pain: take some pain relief and consider holding a warm compress against your mouth.
Severe swelling of the mouth: use a cold compress to try and reduce swelling.
Call your emergency dentist
Sometimes it isn’t easy to decide whether your problem qualifies as a dental emergency, or whether you can be seen at a normal appointment. The staff at your dental practice are best placed to advise you what type of appointment you need and so, if you experience what you believe to be an emergency, the best thing to do is to get in contact with your dentist. If the incident occurs out of hours and your usual dentist doesn’t offer round the clock care, you may need to contact an alternative provision. Make sure that you explain what has happened fully and take on board their recommendations.
Don’t try and resolve any issues yourself
It can be tempting to try and deal with your dental emergency yourself – such as by popping an abscess that may have formed, gluing a tooth back together, or placing aspirin directly onto a tooth to alleviate severe toothache. However, DIY fixes should never be attempted as you could actually do more harm than good. Speak to your emergency dentist as soon as possible instead.
If you would like more tips on how to handle a dental emergency, don’t hesitate to speak to our knowledgeable dentistry team today.