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Dental Emergency: Cases, Handling & Prevention | Hawaii Family Dental

Written by Danica Lacson on September 27, 2018

What is a Dental Emergency?

A dental emergency arises when injuries to the mouth like tooth fractures, loosened or misaligned tooth, jaw fractures, and tissue cuts happen due to tooth decay, infection, accidents especially from sports.

What are the signs of a Dental Emergency?

The common signs of a dental emergency are:

  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Severe pain despite the use of over-the-counter painkillers
  • Traumatic injury to the jaw, teeth, or mouth
  • Severe swelling in the neck, face, or mouth

What are the cases of a Dental Emergency?

Cases of dental emergencies include:

  • Cracked or broken teeth
  • An object lodged between the teeth
  • Excessive bleeding of a tongue or lip bite
  • Jaw injury
  • Painful swelling
  • Damaged braces
  • Loose tooth
  • Severe or abrupt tooth pain
  • Lost crown or filling

How Should You Handle A Dental Emergency?

When you experience such dental emergency, there are simple guidelines that you can follow.

Cracked or broken teeth

Contact your dentist immediately, or go a dental clinic. While waiting, you can rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress outside the area affected.

An object lodged between the teeth

Carefully remove the trapped object using a dental floss. If this method does not work, contact your dentist Honolulu.

Excessive bleeding of a tongue or lip bite

Clean the area affected and immediately apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. If the swelling and bleeding do not stop, it is best to head to an emergency room.

Jaw injury

Head to the dentist or an emergency room as soon as possible if you have a broken jaw. It will also help to apply a cold compress to the area.

Painful swelling

Immediately schedule a dental appointment. The swelling may be caused by an infected pocket of pus which can lead to severe systemic infection or abscess if not given attention. To reduce the pressure and pain, consider rinsing your mouth with salt water.

Damaged braces

Get in touch with your orthodontist at once as some cases of damaged braces need immediate attention.

Loose tooth

See your dentist and try applying a cold compress on the affected area to lessen the discomfort. You may also take an over-the-counter pain reliever.

Severe or abrupt tooth pain

Rinse your mouth with warm water and gently floss around the tooth to ensure that no object is lodged between the teeth. If after a few days the pain did not subside, contact your dentist.

Lost crown or filling

Schedule an appointment with your dentist. You can also alternatively apply clove oil to the sensitive areas of the mouth and put dental cement on the tooth’s surface to reduce sensitivity. Dental cement is available in drugstores.

How to prevent A Dental Emergency?

Just like how most dental problems are preventable, there are also ways to prevent dental emergencies such as wearing protective gear, avoiding biting and chewing hard objects, and skipping your dental appointments.

If you are into contact sports and recreational activities, it is advisable to wear protective gear to shield you away and reduce the chances of damaging your mouth or its supporting structures. Different types of mouth guards are available in the market. You can buy the commercially sold boil-and-bite mouth protector in most sporting goods store. However, they are restricted regarding fit adjustment that custom-fitted mouthpieces are recommended for optimum comfort and protection.

Some people have the habit of utilizing their teeth as a utility tool to open a bag of chips, break off a clothing tag, or unscrew bottle tops. Doing these may cause fracture and cracks in the teeth.

Among all preventive tips, visiting your dentist remains on the top spot. Routine checkups are essential to our oral health. Through them, early detection of possible issues is done. These will save you from costly dental procedures and unwarranted pain.

Disclaimer: The oral health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. Hawaii Family Dental strongly recommends to always consult licensed dentists or other qualified health care professionals for any questions concerning your oral health.


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