As experienced Overland Park family dentists, we realize there are situations in which an individual may suffer a mouth or dental “emergency,” and not know what action to take. Children or adults who participate in sports regularly are more prone to sustain an injury, or even have a tooth knocked out. Nothing is worse than a toothache, and it is possible to chip or crack a tooth while chewing on a holiday brownie, popcorn, or even a piece of candy.
Should you go straight to the emergency room, or contact your dentist? In most cases, it’s best to call your dentist before taking other action, as your dentist can advise you on what to do. During closing hours or on weekends, call our office and a staff member will return your call right away.
What can you do yourself when you have a dental emergency? Here are a few tips.
Toothache – in some cases food or debris may be lodged around a tooth, causing it to hurt. Floss gently around the tooth, and rinse with warm water. If the area is inflamed, apply a cold compress to the outside of the cheek/mouth in the area where the pain is. Never apply topical pain relief products directly to your teeth/gums. If the pain continues, call our office.
Cracked or chipped tooth – contact our office at once, and clean the area by rinsing with warm water. Save any pieces of the tooth, and place gauze on the area if there is any bleeding for about 10 minutes.
Piece of food or other object stuck in a tooth or between teeth. Avoid tooth picks and other sharp objects, as you could damage the gums. Rinse with water and floss to remove the object if possible. If you cannot remove the object, contact Dr. Todd O’Neil.
Knocked out tooth – rinse the root off with warm water, being careful not to disturb any fragments of tissue. Put the tooth back in place if possible, making sure the root is in the gum as it was before if possible. If you cannot put the tooth back into the socket, place it in milk if possible, or water with a small amount of table salt. There is also a product that helps preserve tissue called Save-a-Tooth. If you can see your dentist within an hour of the tooth being knocked out, you have the greatest chance of saving it.
Partially extruded tooth. When a tooth is partially loose or dislodged, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible. Prior to seeing your dentist, apply a cold compress to the affected area to help alleviate pain. Tylenol or Ibuprofen can help relieve the pain as well.
Lost filling. Losing a filling can be painful. Place an OTC dental cement into the cavity until you can see your dentist, or a piece of sugarless gum. Gum containing sugar will cause more pain, so avoid it.
At Blue Valley Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, we help patients maintain beautiful, healthy smiles for life. If you live in the Overland Park or Kansas City area and have a dental emergency, call us now for assistance.