The 7 Most Common Dental Emergencies And How To Prevent Them

Sep 10, 2022 | Emergency Dental Care

Do you have severe pain in your teeth? Is your face or gums swollen? Or did you knock out your teeth? All these dental issues require immediate dental care and attention. An emergency can occur anytime anywhere, and it is important to be prepared. The following is a list of common types of dental emergencies, how to handle them, and ways to prevent them. 

7 Most Common Dental Emergencies

  1. Toothache
  2. Chipped or broken teeth
  3. Loose or knocked-out teeth
  4. Lost filling or crown
  5. Broken Orthodontic Appliances
  6. Tooth Abscess
  7. Bleeding and pain after a tooth extraction

How To Handle Dental Emergencies?

A dental emergency can be stressful, and patients often make mistakes during a dental emergency. However, the following are the seven most common dental emergencies and the correct way to handle them. 

  • Toothache

Tooth pain is a warning sign of some deep-rooted issues. There are different causes of a throbbing toothache, it can be due to a tooth infection or any other issue. Even though some toothaches may be manageable without emergency treatments, it is necessary to visit the dentist to resolve the underlying cause of the pain. In case of a severe toothache, avoid trying to get temporary relief with home remedies, painkillers, or aspirin. Instead, follow the steps mentioned below.

  • Use a saltwater rinse.
  • Swish your mouth with a saltwater solution to keep your mouth clean of food debris. This will help to soothe gum inflammation or if you have any wounds developed with the sore tooth.
  • You can apply a cold compress on the outside of the cheek of the affected area. You can use an ice pack wrapped in a towel or washcloth and hold it near your face for 20 minutes.
  • Get emergency dental treatment in Tulsa, OK, as soon as possible.
  • Chipped Or Broken Teeth

Did you chip your teeth by biting down on something too hard? This may cause a lot of pain and ruin your smile. If you grind or clench your teeth or if you use your teeth to open packages, or if you have an active lifestyle, all these can pose a threat to your teeth

How To Handle Broken Or Chipped Teeth?

  • Immediately swish your mouth with warm water to help remove any blood or debris.
  • Try to stop the bleeding with a gauze or clean towel and apply pressure to the affected area.
  • Locate any missing pieces of tooth, gently wash them and store them in milk. Make sure to bring the pieces to the emergency dentist.
  • Apply a cold compress to the injured area, which will help to reduce swelling and alleviate any pain.
  • If you are experiencing severe pain that doesn’t stop, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever or anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin. However, make sure you visit the emergency dentist.
  • Book an emergency dental appointment as soon as possible to prevent any infections or cause more serious dental issues down the road.
  • Loose Or Knocked-Out Tooth

A knocked-out tooth is to be handled similarly to a broken tooth. If you suffer a trauma to your jaw, it can cause your teeth to become loose or completely fall out. In this scenario, you need to visit the emergency dentist as soon as possible. 

 How To Handle A Knocked-Out Tooth?

  • First, you need to locate the tooth, hold it by the crown and avoid touching the roots.
  • Gently rinse the tooth to get rid of the dirt and debris. 
  • Never use soap or chemicals to clean the tooth, and avoid using a towel or tissues to dry the tooth.
  • Try to reinsert the knocked-out tooth by placing it back into the socket by holding it by the crown. Place it in the right direction. However, this is only for permanent teeth. In the case of children, the primary teeth should not be reimplanted, as it can cause an infection.
  • If you can’t place the tooth back into the socket, you can plan the tooth in a container of milk and take it to the dentist. You can also place it on the cheek to keep it safe.
  • Visit the emergency dental office as quickly as possible. A knocked-out tooth can be reimplanted within 30 minutes to 1 hour, and it is likely to reattach.
  • Lost Filling Or Crown

Crowns and dental fillings are used to restore or support your already weak tooth. This means they need to be treated right away to avoid further damage and reinfection.

 How To Handle A Loose Or Lost Filling Or Crown?

  • Store the lost restoration in a plastic bag, as the dentist may be able to re-cement it to your tooth.
  • To avoid any infection and to kill bacteria, swish saltwater solution.
  • Book an emergency appointment to seek emergency dental care as soon as possible.
  • While brushing, make sure your brush gently and be extra gentle around the affected area.
  • You can also use a temporary filling material, such as dental wax, to protect the exposed tooth. However, remember this is only a temporary fix until you see your dentist.
  • Make sure you don’t chew on the exposed tooth or apply any pressure until the emergency treatment.
  • Do not try to fix the tooth yourself to avoid damaging it.
  • Broken Orthodontic Appliances

Braces are designed to withstand daily wear-and-tear with chewing, eating, and even talking. But sometimes, they can break or stick out and poke your cheeks and gums. This can cause discomfort and also lengthen the duration of the treatment.

 How To Handle Broken Orthodontic Appliances?

  • In case the wires poke you or cause you discomfort, you can push them into a more comfortable position to reduce pain and discomfort.
  • You can also cover the exposed ends with the help of orthodontic wax, a piece of gauze, or a small cotton ball.
  • Don’t try to cut the wire yourself, as it poses the risk of swallowing.
  • Make sure you visit your orthodontist or visit an emergency dentist to get an appointment as soon as possible.
  • Tooth Abscess

A tooth infection is caused when bacteria enter your pulp. If left untreated, the infection will spread to the surrounding gums and teeth, and it can even spread to the rest of your body. If you have a severe toothache, pimples on your gums, swelling, bad breath, etc., you might be suffering from a tooth abscess. These are signs of a serious emergency dental situation.

 How To Handle A Broken Tooth Abscess?

  • You need to call the emergency dentist as soon as possible, as this type of dental emergency can be life-threatening.
  • In the meantime, swish salt water in your mouth several times per day to draw the pus to the surface and provide temporary relief.
  • Bleeding And Pain After A Tooth Extraction

It is normal to bleed after the tooth extraction procedure. However, if you continue to bleed even after an hour, you need to visit the dentist immediately.

 How To Handle Bleeding And Pain After A Tooth Extraction

  • Call your dentist and determine whether the pain and bleeding are a cause for concern and constitute a dental emergency. 
  • Meanwhile, place clean gauze over the extraction site and apply gentle pressure by biting down on it. Additionally, avoid rinsing, eating, drinking, spitting, sucking, and smoking.
  • Take the prescribed medication and antibiotics prescribed to prevent bacterial infection.

How To Prevent A Dental Emergency?

1. Use A Mouthguard

If you have an active lifestyle, such as playing sports or doing other activities, consider getting a mouth guard. Also, avoid rough plays that can injure your face, mouth, chip, or knock out your tooth. Wear a mouthguard to prevent dental emergencies and protect your smile.

2. Watch What You Eat

If you want to ensure you have healthy and long-lasting pearly whites, you need to maintain a proper diet. Avoid hard candies, tough meats, and chewy or sticky foods that can cause your tooth to chip or crack.

3. Don’t Chew On Hard Objects 

Many people have a habit of biting their nails, chewing on pen caps, or opening packages with their mouths. These habits can crack or chip your teeth, and it’s best to avoid them.

We hope this information helped you to understand what to do in case of a dental emergency. The best way to make sure you can restore your teeth is by visiting the best emergency dentist in Tulsa, OK, who will make sure you get the required treatment on time.