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Emergency! How to handle the top 3 dental emergencies

By Jill Hamilton on June 7, 2012 in Dental Health


The mouth is one of the most important parts of our body. Nutrients are taken in by eating, water by drinking and some medications are ingested orally when sick. Just like other important parts of the body, the mouth is subject to accidents. Sometimes it is as minor as biting your tongue (although we know how bad that hurts!) and sometimes it is something more major that requires professional care.

There are many people who tend to stay calm in an emergency situation and thank goodness for that. For those of you who aren't so level headed in an emergency, the best thing you can do is educate yourself on how to handle certain situations. It has been proven that in the face of an emergency, education will help you keep calm until someone else comes along to help. This is how lifeguards and paramedics are able to react when something goes awry.

Dental emergencies can be just as frightening as medical emergencies. If something is painful, chances are, the pain will cause us to not think clearly. We want to make sure you have the tools necessary for getting help if you should encounter any dental emergency, either with yourself or your grandchildren.

  1. Toothaches: While toothaches aren't necessarily an emergency, they can sometimes be painful and make you uncomfortable. Try washing your mouth with warm salt water and taking an over the counter pain medication. Contact your dentist for an appointment as soon as possible.
  2. Lost Tooth: If a permanent tooth is knocked out, time is of the essence. You may be able to re-implant the tooth. In order to give you the best chance, call your dentist immediately and try and get into to see him within one half hour. Transport your tooth in a glass of milk if available. If not, a glass of salt water will do.
  3. Broken or Fractured Jaw – If you have a broken jaw, you will likely feel pain in the face or jaw and have swelling and bruising. Your jaw may not work properly or misalign teeth. To control swelling, apply a cold compress. Stabilize the jaw using a bandage wrapped beneath the jaw and tied on top of the head and get to the nearest ER emergency room quickly.

While these dental emergencies are by far the most common, they are not the only dental emergencies that could happen. It is important to remember in an emergency situation to take deep breaths and try to keep calm. Get to the nearest dentist or doctor immediately.

“Handling Dental Emergencies.” Delta Dental. Web. 15 Mar. 2012.