Dental Emergency

Dealing with a Dental Emergency:

Dental EmergencyLet’s face it, toothache or dental related pain is probably one of the most common reasons why people visit their dentist. Many things can trigger toothache: very hot or very cold food and drinks for example. Sometimes when food is tough or hard to chew, biting on it can cause a hair line crack in the tooth, which can also result in excruciating pain – Cracked Tooth Syndrome. Usually a tooth will start to throb when a filling comes out or the tooth itself cracks or breaks. This will often expose the deeper layer of the tooth and sometimes even the nerve itself…. not pleasant!

If your tooth or gum becomes damaged, don’t ignore the problem. Injuries to soft tissues within the mouth like the gums and surrounding areas can damage nerves or blood vessels. There are greater chances of getting infections if the blood supply is reduced and hence it may result in life threatening conditions. It’s far better to treat a dental injury as soon as possible to avoid any fatal condition.

Useful tips for your Dental Emergency:

If you have a dental emergency, the first thing to do is not to panic! Handling a dental emergency can be delecate when you are in pain, but a quick and appropriate action can help save a tooth. Here at Shelbourne Dental Clinic in Dublin, we recommend that you follow these dental emergency procedures in case you ever have a dental emergency. These tips will tell you what to do in case of such emergencies.

Cracked Tooth1. Toothache

When your tooth starts hurting, firstly try to clean your mouth by rinsing thoroughly with warm water. This will sometimes provide temporary relief if you have gum problems. Gently floss around the tooth to remove any food particles that are stuck between the teeth. Take some painkillers to help reduce the pain. Don’t place aspirin under the gums as it can result in an ‘Aspirin Burn‘. If your tooth continues to hurt, call your dentist as soon as possible. A toothache can result from several dental problems like cavities or dental fractures or loose teeth and also due to increased sensitivity of the tooth. Remember, regular check-ups with your dentist can help avoid such dental pain.

Broken Tooth2. Broken Tooth

Usually a restored tooth is weak and breaks or chips of along with the filling, resulting in severe pain. If your tooth breaks, the first thing you should do is take some pain killers and visit your dentist immediately. Apply a cold compress to the area to minimize any swelling of the soft structure.

3. Lost / Loose Filling

As a quick temporary measure, stick a piece of sugarfree chewing gum into the cavity (sugar-filled chewing gum will obviously cause pain). This needs to be done as the ‘dental tubules’ or dental nerves are exposed which cause extreme pain when it comes in contact with air. Get to your dentist asap.

Bitten Tongue4. Bitten Tongue or Lip

If you have bitten your tongue or lip, gently wipe the area clean with a piece of gauze or cloth. Apply a cold compress to the area to control bleeding and swelling in that area. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, you should go to the A&E Dept of your local hospital.

5. Something Stuck Between Your Teeth

Gently use some dental floss or a plastic toothpick (try to avoid the wooden cocktail sausage type ones as they can damage the gums) to remove the offending object between your teeth. Take care not to cut the gum tissue. If you can’t remove the object, contact your dentist. Never use a sharp object to try and remove something that is stuck in between your teeth.

Teeth Knocked Out6. Knocked Out Tooth

Speed is of the essence here. If your tooth comes out completely, rinse the tooth very gently – try not to touch the root surface. Do NOT scrub the tooth or remove any tissue that is attached to it. Be sure to place a towel or wash cloth in the sink so that it does not go down the drain. If you can, gently place the tooth back into it’s socket or at least in the mouth so that it’s in contact with the saliva. If this is not possible, place the tooth in a small container or cup of milk. Bring it with you and get to your dentist immediately. The quicker you can get to the dentist, the better the chances are that the tooth can be saved.

Broken Crown7. Broken Crown

If you have a crown that has broken off, make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible, of course bringing the crown with you. Under NO circumstances, should you use something like ‘Super Glue’ to try and place the crown back on yourself. If you can’t get to a dentist right away and the tooth is causing pain, gentle ruba a little clove oil to the sensitive area with a cotton bud. If possible, place the crown back over the tooth. Before doing so, coat the inner surface with an over-the-counter dental cement, toothpaste, or denture adhesive, to help hold the crown in place.

8. Orthodontic Emergencies: Broken Braces or Wires Sticking Out

If a wire breaks or sticks out of a bracket or band and is digging into the cheek, tongue or gum try to put some ortho wax (if you have some!) or chewing gum over the exposed ends of the wire. Use the rubber end of a pencil to push the wire into a more comfortable position. If you can’t reposition the wire, cover the end with orthodontic wax and drop down to see your dentist or orthodontist.

Orthodontic Emergency9. Orthodontic Emergencies: Loose Brackets and Bands

Temporarily reattach loose braces with a small piece of ortho wax. Alternatively, place the wax over the braces to provide a cushion. Get to see your orthodontist as soon as possible. If the problem is a loose band, it will probably need to be re-cemented or replaced (and to have missing spacers replaced).

Broken Jaw10. Jaw Fracture

This is usually an immediate dental emergency. People who face road traffic accidents and sports injuries are more at risk to this type of trauma. Call an ambulance and control any bleeding and/or swelling by applying cold pressure on the affected area. Try to visit your local A&E Department as quickly as possible for investigation and treatment.

When to Call Your Dentist because of Dental Emergency

If it hurts, it’s a dental emergency!
If you’re not sure if your dental problem is an emergency, take our advice:

Even injuries that seem small or superficial can damage the nerve of the tooth – quick treatment improves the odds of saving injured or damaged teeth.

Even if you don’t have pain, any structural damage to a tooth could be considered an emergency. When the teeth starts becoming mobile due to a superficial injury, it may result in tooth loss. If any damage to gums occurs, it may result in gum infections particularly among diabetics. Sometimes a small oral lesion which may or may not have any pain can be fatal like the precancerous oral lesions. So if you see any such lesion on your oral cavity, visit your dentist immediately.

If you have any broken filling(s) or crown(s), try and get to your dentist right away, there’s a good chance they will be able to repair the damage with minimal treatment and the prognosis is usually good. Here at Shelbourne Dental Clinic in Dublin, we always endeavour to attend to emergencies on the day the patient calls! – call us at 01-6655900 if you have an emergency 🙂

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Monday 08.00am - 5:00pm
Tuesday 08.00am - 5:00pm
Wednesday 08.00am - 5:00pm
Thursday 08.00am - 5:00pm
Friday 08.00am - 5:00pm
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

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7 Grand Canal Wharf, South Dock Rd, Dublin 4
Eircode: D04 R860
Phone: 01 6655900
Fax: 01 6655901

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