Treating Dental Emergencies While Waiting for An Appointment

This is a guest post by Dr Grillo & Jamie Brown.

Dental emergencies are typically the result of an oral health issue that was ignored or left untreated for a certain period of time. They also occur when your gums or teeth have been injured in an accident, for example. Either way, no matter how the dental emergency happened, you can find temporary relief at home while you wait for your dental appointment.

Toothaches and Oral Discomfort

Eating too much sugar has a number of effects on the body, including dental cavities due to tooth decay. This can also occur from drinking juice and the intake of acid, in general. To alleviate oral discomfort from a toothache and bring any swelling you have down, use a cold compress pressed to the outside of your mouth against the swollen area. Rinse your mouth out with some warm water and gently floss to remove lodged food, if any is present and flossing is possible. Do not leave any aspirin or over-the-counter pain medication lingering in your mouth or against the tooth that is giving you the pain – you could burn your gum tissue and create a larger problem.

Lost Filling or Crown

If you’ve lost a filling that was once covering a hole from a cavity, find some dental cement and apply it to the area to protect the tooth from further harm. Alternatively, you can also use a piece of gum, but make sure it’s sugar-free gum. Sugar-filled gum will only bring more pain, so avoid using that at all costs.

Losing a crown can be extremely painful, so you’re going to want to look into dental crown pain remedies in addition to using a temporary method to protect the open, exposed tooth. Dental cement, cotton balls, and gauze can cover the hole up nicely, but you can also try to put it back on temporarily. Use some toothpaste, denture adhesive, or dental cement on the inside of the crown and do your best to place it back onto the tooth.

Knocked Out or Lost Teeth

Try your best to find the tooth that was knocked out or otherwise lost – it can still be saved! Pick it up by the crown, which is the part of the tooth that’s visible in your mouth. Picking it up by the root, the part that isn’t visible, can destroy it. If you’re able to do so, try to put it back in the socket yourself as a temporary measure, but you can also keep it safe and preserved in a cup of milk or water.

Abscessed Teeth and Oral Infections

Oral infections can be identified quite easily, thankfully. They tend to look like pimples or a small, swollen, red area that is definitely not supposed to be there. They occur either inside of a tooth or in between your gums and teeth. Either way, they are extremely painful and can turn into a life-threatening dental emergency before you know it. They spread just as any other bodily infection does. The best way to alleviate the pain from an oral infection is to swish some mild salt water in your mouth multiple times a day and use a cold compress for the swelling.

Broken or Badly Chipped Teeth

The first thing you need to do is rinse your mouth out, save any broken pieces you find, and apply gauze or general bandaging to the best of your ability if your gums have been injured and are bleeding. Use a cold compress on or around the chipped or broken tooth to keep the swelling down and to help alleviate any pain.

Soft or Hard Tissue Injuries

Injuries to the lips, gums, cheeks, tongue, and the roof of your mouth can result in some minor bleeding. To stop it and keep your mouth safe from infection, rinse your mouth out with some salt water, apply pressure using some toilet paper or gauze until the bleeding stops, then use a cold compress against the area outside your mouth to control swelling and alleviate some of the pain.

Broken Braces

Broken braces, which include wires breaking, can cause a lot of oral discomfort by poking into your cheeks, gums, and even your tongue. You can try to push the wire around to be in a more comfortable position by using something soft and sturdy, such as the eraser end of a pencil, for example. If your orthodontist has given you orthodontic wax, you can use some of that to cover the end of the wire. Do not try to cut the end of the exposed wire, however, as you could breathe it in or swallow it.

If you don’t currently have a dentist who you see on a regular basis, you can find one to treat your dental emergency using the Australian Dental Association.

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