How should we deal with a bad dental emergency? Depending on the nature of the dental emergency, here are the things you may do to face the results of some unfortunate accidents:
- Uncontrolled bleeding from biting your own tongue or lip—if bleeding in the injured area does not stop, don’t assume that an ice pack would do the trick; you may need some stitches and for that you need to hurry to a dental office or hospital. Self biting is a rather ridiculous accident that is actually quite frequent.
- Broken tooth as a result of trauma—you need to rinse and avoid swallowing; you can apply an ice pack on the injured area to minimize edema as you hurry to the medical/dental office. There’s no need to rush into the dental office for a minor crack of the tooth enamel: this kind of issues are not medical emergencies and may as well wait until your next appointment. Severe and complex cracks, on the other hand, may require tooth extraction.
- Knocked out tooth—if you rush fast enough, your dentist may even save your tooth. Keep the teeth in a glass of milk or inside the mouth and try not to damage the tissue on the root.
- Fractured jaw—mandibular fractures are not something you can treat next week. You need to rush immediately to the emergency department of the nearest hospital if the following symptoms occur as a result of trauma: severe pain, swelling, malocclusion, oral bleeding, and numbness of the chin. You may try to minimize swelling by applying an ice pack. DO NOT take aspirin to control pain as it may increase your bleeding!
- Toothache—a very annoying symptom that is usually caused by procrastinating dental treatment, toothaches may be as severe as to force the patient into the dental emergency room. If it is absolutely impossible for you to access immediate dental care by a professional, there are some analgesics that may delay the severity of your condition with a couple of hours; these, however, cannot solve the problem. DO NOT place oral medication inside a dental cavity hoping to achieve faster results! Aspirin can burn your oral tissues if contact with oral mucosa is prolonged.