You probably don’t give much thought to dental emergencies. Thankfully, they are not common, but if you or someone you love has one, you’ll want to know what to do.
Dental emergencies can arise from years of neglecting your teeth and gums, or they can happen in an instant. Either way, you’ll be glad to know there is a place you can go.
Our staff at Atlanta West Dentistry in Marietta hopes we never have to see you under those circumstances, but you should be comforted to know we are prepared to provide emergency dental care.
What is a dental emergency?
If you are experiencing substantial pain in your mouth or jaw or you received an injury to your mouth or teeth, you are likely have a dental emergency.
In the event of a forceful impact, you may have a tooth knocked out, or your teeth may feel like they’ve become loose. This can happen in the course of playing a sport, such as football, or it can happen as a result of an accident of some kind.
You may wake up to find that you are feeling severe pain in your gums or teeth. If this pain lingers, you may need to see a dentist right away to prevent further damage.
Likewise, if you find your gums are bleeding and it won’t stop, you should contact our office as soon as possible.
What to do during a dental emergency?
More than likely, if you have a dental emergency, you won’t be in a dentist’s chair when it happens.
Always get to the dentist as soon as you can, but here are some suggestions for what to do in different kinds of emergencies:
• Tooth knocked out — If you or your child has a tooth knocked out, find it if at all possible. If you can, clean the tooth and try to place it back where it goes. If that does not work, put the tooth in milk or hold it between your gums and teeth. Either way, you should see the dentist as soon as you can to find out if the tooth can be implanted where it belongs.
Also remember to avoid touching the root of your tooth. If the root is damaged, it may not be possible to replace the tooth.
• Cracked tooth — With a cracked tooth, you should again try to find the broken piece. Rinse the piece in warm water, and rinse your mouth if you are bleeding. You may also want to cover the broken tooth with gauze or wax to prevent accidentally cutting the inside of your mouth or tongue.
• Toothache — Use dental floss to remove any possible food particles that may be stuck between your teeth and gums, and then rinse your mouth with warm water. Call you dentist if the pain continues. Do not put aspirin against your gums as this may burn your gum tissue.
• Broken jaw — If you believe you jaw is broken, you should go to the dentist or an emergency room as soon as possible.
You also may want to consider purchasing an emergency tooth preservation product. Think of it as a first aid kit for your mouth. This kit includes a jar with a solution that can help preserve a knocked out tooth for up to 24 hours. Look for one with an ADA Accepted seal.
At the dentist
We will do our best to schedule an appointment for you the same day that you call. We are open Monday through Friday until 5 p.m.
If your emergency occurs outside of those hours, try to schedule an appointment within 24 hours of your emergency. Also, please call the number listed on our answering machine.
If you situation is critical, go immediately to the emergency room.
Once we see you, we will make every effort to end your pain as quickly as possible.
Not every emergency can be anticipated, but maintaining your oral health can go a long way toward preventing problems as a result of tooth decay or gum disease.
Brushing your teeth twice every day, and flossing once a day are the first step in maintaining a healthy mouth.
Also, make regular appointments with your dentist for professional cleanings and exams. This keep your teeth looking their best, and we can identify early warning signs of potential problems. This can prevent them from turning into something worse.
Whether you need emergency or routine care, the team at Atlanta West Dentistry wants to give you the care you need. To make an appointment at our office in Marietta, call 770-744-4619 or use our online form.