handling dental emergency

6 Steps to Take During a Dental Emergency

When you have a dental emergency, every moment before you get into the dentist’s chair can feel like an eternity. Whether you got into an accident and knocked your teeth out or your crown broke unexpectedly, it’s important to know what steps to take.

1. Ease the Pain

As soon as a dental injury occurs, take Advil and/or Tylenol as directed. If you have different over the counter painkillers that you prefer, take those instead. Not only could this make you feel better, but it may also help keep the swelling down. If you have an infection, medicating can lower or prevent any fever that might arise.

2. Apply Heat or Cold

Use a hot or a cold compress for a few minutes at a time, and repeat. This is a simple way to immediately relieve the pressure in your mouth, especially if it’s throbbing. If one doesn’t work, try the other. Whichever alleviates the pain is the one to stick with.

3. Rinse Your Mouth Out

There is no shortage of mouthwash products out there. If Listerine is too much for your mouth to handle while it’s in pain, there are other options. Alcohol-free mouthwashes can be very effective and gentler on your mouth. Salt water is also tried and true home remedy. Simply use a combination of warm water and salt to rinse your mouth out. This will disinfect and have a soothing effect, and can help clean out any loose particles that may be irritating your gums.

4. Swish Oregano Oil Or Milk

Many people rave about the benefits of oregano oil, but if you’re in the midst of a dental emergency, you may not have it on hand. Consider purchasing some when you don’t have a dental emergency and keeping it in a cupboard in case you ever do have one. Depending on the state of your mouth, you may want to drink a glass of milk or at least swish a few mouthfuls around. It will keep your mouth hydrated, which is especially important if you have gotten your teeth knocked out.

5. Apply Pressure

By adding pressure to the affected areas of your mouth, you can lessen the pain that you’re feeling. Use a clean gauze or tissue, and try not to fuss around with the affected area too much.

6. Call a Dentist

When you’re experiencing a dental emergency, you need to act fast. If it’s the result of a head injury or an accident, go to the ER first before calling your dentist. Once everything has been checked out, it’s time to give your dentist a call.

Here at Davis Gribble Hollowwa, we’re available for dental emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’ll get you in quickly and prescribe antibiotics, painkillers, and antianxiety medications as necessary. Then, we’ll evaluate whether we need to schedule surgery. Click here to learn more about our emergency dentistry services.

Author Info

Dr. Connor Hollowwa

Dr. Connor Hollowwa is an Albuquerque native. He graduated from the Albuquerque Academy and went on to receive a BA from Rice University. His Doctorate of Dental Surgery is from Creighton University School of Dentistry. Since 2014 Dr. Hollowwa has practiced at the state-of-the-art Isleta Health Center’s Dental Clinic, providing modern dental care for the members of the Pueblo of Isleta. In his free time he enjoys playing the piano, fly-fishing, golfing, and skiing.

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