How to Deal With a Dental Emergency

Dental Emergencies

You’re a parent and your kid knocks both their front (permanent) teeth out. Or you’re happily munching on popcorn when you bite into kernel and crack a tooth or lose a filling. What should you do? Clearly, you need to contact your local emergency dentist in Vancouver, BC and get these dental emergencies attended to, but in the meanwhile, is there any first aid you should apply?

Dealing with a Dental Emergency

Goodbye tooth?

When a tooth gets knocked clean out of your mouth, this may not be your first thought. In fact, it’s probably your second thought after “Ohno! Ouuuuuch!” or something less printable. But your emergency dentist might be able to save your tooth, provided you get to the surgery soon enough and you look after the dislodged tooth properly.

First, rinse your mouth out with warmish water, possibly with a little salt added. Steel yourself, and try to gently press the tooth back into the gum to keep it fresh and nourished until you get to the surgery. If it won’t go in easily, don’t force it. Instead, keep your tooth moist in a container of milk, and if there’s no milk handy, pop it into your mouth between teeth and gums for safekeeping.

Ice is great, but don’t apply it directly to the damaged area. Rather, use an ice pack and apply it to your face to reduce swelling and ease pain.

It won’t stop bleeding!

Wounds inside the mouth often bleed copiously. After cleaning your mouth out with warm water, grab a clean piece of gauze or even an unused teabag to staunch the flow. Hold it in place using light pressure, and the bleeding should slow and stop. An icepack, used as described above, can also help to stop bleeding and can limit swelling while you rush for help.

Cracked, broken or the filling fell out

“Careful how you chew,” you say as you hand round the sticky toffees. Good advice, but as you bite down, you realise that you’ve gone and done it to yourself. What now? Once again, rinsing out your mouth is the first step and getting to your dentist is the second. If it doesn’t actually hurt, you can get away with waiting a day or two, and you can plug any gaps with a bit of sugar-free gum.

If your tooth breaks cleanly, the missing piece of tooth can be reattached, but time will be of the essence, and your milk-preservation technique will come in handy.

Abscesses really hurt!

There are few things more painful than an abscess under a tooth. You don’t have to feel like a cissy if you run for help as soon as you can get it – dental abscesses can poison your whole body, making you extremely ill, and in rare cases, they can even kill. Take painkillers, but remember that it won’t cure your problem. Get to a dentist or even a GP for a course of antibiotics as soon as you can.

It’s stuck between the teeth, and boy! It hurts!

Make sure everyone in your family knows that they should never tackle this problem with a pointed object – even a toothpick. Instead, try and floss the culprit free, and if that doesn’t work, see your dentist.

Toothache strikes in the middle of the night.

For some reason, that’s the usual time to notice a toothache. Is it Murphy ’s Law? You’d love to see your emergency dentist, but you need to wait for morning. What should you do? Keep a little clove oil in your home first-aid kit. It’s at times like these that you’ll be glad you did. Apply it to the tooth to relieve pain. You can also use a painkiller, but don’t put it directly on the painful area. Just swallow it as you normally would. If there’s swelling, use a cold compress.

Derailed railway tracks or other hardware

When wires inside the mouth snap, they can leave sharp ends that prick at the inside of your mouth. Beware of trying to snip them off, if you swallow the pieces or choke on them, you’ll have an even worse emergency on your hands! Use the eraser end of a pencil to bend the wire away from the sensitive area, or put a small piece of sugar-free gum on the sharp end so that it doesn’t prick any more. Then get to an emergency dentist!

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