As much as we’d love to be able to, preventing emergencies is nearly impossible; nobody plans to trip over a leash while walking the dog, faceplant during an inverted yoga pose, or take a baseball to the mouth while playing catch with the kids. The best we can do is be sure we’re equipped to handle emergencies when they happen. To make sure you know what to do in the event of a dental emergency, the team at Michelle Munoz, DDS offers the following tips:
Emergency #1 — Tooth Pain
Tooth pain is probably the biggest reason we see patients for emergency treatment. If you are experiencing tooth pain, start by rinsing with lukewarm water to dislodge anything that may be stuck between teeth or beneath gums; sometimes simply removing the foreign object is enough to stop the pain. If the pain persists or is accompanied by swelling, take an anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen and apply a cold compress to the pain sight, then call to set up a dental appointment ASAP.
Emergency #2 — Chipped or Knocked-Out Tooth
These are common injuries for athletes (especially of the amateur variety) who don’t wear mouthguards. No matter what leads to the damaged tooth, it’s important to have a plan in place. For a chipped tooth, save the piece if you can, then rinse it and your mouth with warm water. Call the dentist ASAP and bring the piece with you to your appointment. In the event that the tooth is completely knocked out, you’ll want to rinse the tooth and your mouth with warm water; whatever you do, resist the temptation to deep-clean your tooth, as you may damage the remaining pulp. It is ideal to place the tooth in saliva until you can get to the dentist, but milk will also work. This is a true dental emergency; the faster you act, the greater the chances of restoring your smile naturally.
Emergency #3 — Lost Filling or Crown
Even if you lose a filling or crown in the back of your mouth where no one can see, it’s important to take care of this emergency before bacteria, germs, and food particles make their way into the exposed tooth that remains. Be sure to clean your mouth thoroughly once you realize your restoration is missing and consider using dental wax to protect your tooth until you can get to the dentist for a permanent solution.
When it comes to your dental health, you should always be cautious. Wear a mouthguard during contact activities, brush and floss every day, and be sure to get a professional cleaning and dental exam at least twice a year. If, despite your best efforts, an emergency occurs, you’ll know exactly what to do. Contact our office as soon as you can and let us help restore the function and beauty of your smile. We proudly serve patients in Uvalde, Texas, and the surrounding communities.