Imagine this scenario. You are in a restaurant on a date, having a great time, and eating an amazingly sumptuous rack of ribs for dinner. You are enjoying the conversation and laughing at something your date said, as you bite into the rib you have in your hand. Then you feel it. A sharp pain runs from your tooth to your head, which signifies that you broke a tooth. What do you do?
Dental emergencies are not rare, and are actually quite common. Some people, when they encounter such events, often take themselves to the ER of the nearest hospital to ask for help with the pain that usually comes with such a thing happening. Others rush to the nearest drug store to get themselves a pain reliever in order to last them the night, until they can get themselves to their dentist in the morning.
What is the right thing to do during such dental emergencies? Depending on the severity of the emergency, one of the best options would indeed be to go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital for help. This is when you find that any bleeding occurring due to your dental injury is not stopping after more than 10 minutes of cold compresses and first-aid care.
For other dental emergencies, those that do not pose that big a threat to your well being, here is what you should do:
Toothaches – if you have a toothache, your first move should be to rinse your mouth out by gargling with warm water. The pain usually comes from food that is lodged into a tooth that has a cavity. Try to remove the lodged food with the use of dental floss or with gargling. If the area is swollen, a cold compress should help reduce the swelling. Visit your dentist as soon as you can.
Broken or chipped tooth – when a tooth is chipped or broken, you should first save any of the pieces that have broken off. Rinse and gargle with warm water. If your teeth are bleeding, apply gentle pressure to the area with the use of gauze. Wait for the bleeding to subside. To prevent any swelling, a cold compress should be applied to the cheek near the area. Visit your dentist as soon as it is possible.
Lost crown or filling – if a filling or a crown is dislodged, you might find yourself feeling some pain due to the exposed tissues of your tooth. If a crown is what fell off, keep this so you can show it to your dentist as soon as you can get to their office. To help ease the pain until then, apply some clove oil to the area with the use of a cotton swab. Clove oil can be purchased in any drug store. If a lost filling is your problem, you should cover up the hole with some sugarless gum until you can see your dentist, or get a hold of some dental cement and temporarily plug in the hole until your dentist can take care of it.
Knocked out tooth – if you find yourself losing a tooth for any reason (a fight, a fall, or whatnot), the best thing for you to do is to keep the tooth, rinse your mouth out, and stop the bleeding with the help of gauze pressed over the hole. Try to get to your dentist as soon as possible (within the hour, if you can) since there is a chance that you can still save the tooth if this is reinserted into the socket properly (and with the tissue fragments still attached to it) by your dentist in that hour.