How To Deal: Dental Emergency Triage
With Spring around the corner, physical activity means the chances of accidents occurring are also just around the bend.
And with Valentine's Day andthe prevailingDecember Holidays just ending, sugar intake levels are on the rise. To avoid potentially painful circumstances with your dental health or address situations that have already happened, here are a few helpful tips to consider using, both for the proactive and reactive.
Common Toothache To combat mild irritation, first try rinsing your mouth with warm water for drainage. Clear the spaces between teeth and gum for trapped food particles, by gently flossing all areas in the mouth. Do not apply aspirin or other pain-relieving medication on the irritated areas for this may actually burn your gum tissue. If the pain persists, absolutely consult your dentist as soon as possible for further advice and to schedule an emergency appointment. There's not much more you can do for broken teeth except rinse the area with warm water to clear the area of debris. To keep your mouth from swelling more, use a cold compress directly on the area. Call your dentist to address the problem immediately. The Whole Nine Yards So the permanent tooth is totally knocked out? By holding it by the crown, rinse the root off with warm water to cleanse. Do not scrub it or remove the attached tender tissue fragments. If possible, replace the tooth into its socket. If you cannot, place it in a cup of milk and take it with you to see the dentist immediately. If your jaw was compromised, calmly go to the emergency room immediately after the incident. Bite Your Tongue Rinse your mouth and tenderly dab your tongue with a clean, damp cloth. Hold a cold compress to the area to limit the swelling. If the bleeding persists, do not panic. Go to your nearest emergency room immediately and let them professionally care for your injury. This applies to bitten lips, too. You can avoid potentially dangerous situations by just using common sense to hedge your chances. When participating in sports activity, contact or not, consider wearing a mouth guard to protect your teeth and mouth area. Think of it this way; that funny looking $20 piece of plastic could save you potentially hundreds or even thousands of dollars down the road for the cosmetic surgery necessary to fix broken crowns or teeth and damaged gums, not to mention the excruciating pain and angst of time taken out of your tight schedule. Another simple thing to consider, do not chew on ice, popcorn kernels or hard candy. You take a chance on weakening or damaging your teeth every time you bite down hard on something unnecessary. Do not use your teeth to sever tape, string, price tag plastic or anything else you might otherwise use a pair of scissors for. Take the extra few seconds to find your shearers; Again, it may save you money and a whole lot of pain in the distant future.
(Dr. Siegel acknowledges the ADA as a vitalsource for this article.)