- by Dr. Ravneet Dhillon
- November 17, 2022
We have a tendency of taking things for granted till there is an emergency. Now, what is considered a dental emergency?
For most of us, it is the excruciating pain that signals an emergency for us. But if one takes good care of teeth and oral hygiene in general, such emergencies can be easily prevented in most cases. Knowledge is power and you can use this power to prevent dental emergencies for yourself and for your family.
Rather than using the internet to find cures for dental issues and other health issues, spend time learning about preventive measures.
Learning about signs and symptoms of dental problems in general, and learning about symptoms associated with any of your existing health issues, can go a long way in preventing emergencies for you.
With the help of our dental experts, here is a guide to prevent such emergencies while also knowing what to do in case an emergency arises.
Preventive measures are far less expensive than curative measures
The old adage of prevention is better than cure stands as true today as it was in the old times. After all, prevention of any health issues including dental issues is less painful, less time-consuming, inexpensive, and practical. Real is always better than a replacement or a fixed tooth or other tissue.
Sometimes, the circumstances are beyond our control like in case of damage due to impact sports or accident or an acute illness. But for most cases, we can do better. In any case, our Dental Emergency Clinic Morgan Hill Dentistry is accessible to you.
- Notice oral changes, and toothache- it should be a habit for everyone to inspect their teeth and oral cavity regularly. This can tell you about dental issues as well as health in general. If you notice a problem like lesions, or there is a toothache or you notice discoloration, it is best to seek professional care. This will prevent it from turning into an emergency. You will learn what to do in a dental emergency as you read this article. A bad toothache that suddenly disappears can be a sign of nerve damage.
- Follow a good oral care regime- regular brushing, flossing, a few seconds of gum massage, tongue cleaning, and using a fluoride-based toothpaste are a must as a part of your daily regime. Dental care must be gentle.
- Replace your toothbrush regularly, and always use the proper technique- if the bristles are splayed or there is discoloration, consider buying a new toothbrush. Over time, there is bacterial build-up and damage to the bristles. One should be getting a new toothbrush, preferably a soft one, every two to three months. Brush twice in the day using gentle circular motions holding the brush at a 45-degree angle. Use soft strokes or circular motions reaching every corner.
- Never forget flossing- many tools like dental floss, interdental brushes, and water flossers are available today so that the spaces between the teeth are cleaned as well. These tools help even those with arthritis to avoid missing this very crucial step of dental cleaning. Otherwise, the food debris stuck between the teeth will help with bacterial growth leading to cavities.
- Watch what you eat- foods and drinks high in sugar lead to acid production when the bacteria digest these sugars. These weak acids or acidic foods and drinks themselves damage the tooth enamel. Sticky foods can damage the fillings and crowns. If you consume these foods, rinse well and limit exposure to these foods.
- Register with our dental clinic- this will help you to stick to your regular appointments and get comfortable with your dentist. This will help you get help for even a 24-hour dental emergency.
- Protection is very important- If you are into high-impact sports, mouthguards can prevent damage to your teeth and jaw. Treating lost teeth or chips and fractures is more painful and costly compared to getting custom-made protection. Stress management is also a part of protection. During periods of stress, people bite on hard things. It can also lead to the grinding of teeth even during sleep. Nightguards can help deal with this while you work on stress management. Else, it can lead to TMJ disorder, jaw pain, and damage to tooth enamel and surface. One should avoid biting or chewing hard stuff with front teeth. One example of such a thing is ice. Your rear molars are stronger than your front teeth.
- Don’t avoid your appointment- many people are scared of dental treatments and dentists. With our experts, even a dental emergency clinic will never be overwhelming. Compassion, care, attention to detail, expertise, and experience will take care of all dental issues.
- Bring your children along- many people believe in the myth that a problem in childhood will go away when permanent teeth grow. Dental issues can be persistent. There can be mal-alignment and cavities later on. Also, children need to be trustful of their dentists and not have any fears associated with regular appointments. They can be taught about oral care right from the early years.
- Taking care of any issue or damage without delay- while many consider pain in gums or teeth to be the best indicator of any ongoing issue, something like chips and fractures can be noticed even before the pain starts. Checking the oral cavity can show you painless ulcers or lesions. People with diseases like diabetes may not have as much pain as others, which is why they need to be more observant. Get an appointment soon so that you are not left wondering about where to go for a dental emergency. Nip the problem in the bud.
- Hydration and nutrition- these are the mainstays for preventing dental and general health issues. Water is needed to produce saliva. While nutrients like minerals and vitamins help keep gums and teeth healthy. Good nutrition leads to rapid healing as well. In case you have health issues where your water intake is restricted or you need to avoid any foods, discuss with your health provider and follow the instructions.
What is considered a dental emergency?
A knocked-out tooth, any oral injury including that to the jaw is a dental emergency. A cracked or broken tooth is also an emergency as quick care could save it. A dental abscess is a definite emergency as the spread of infection must be stopped. Severe toothache completely disrupts the daily routine and can even signal something more alarming. It should never be ignored.
What to do in a dental emergency and where to go for dental emergency care?
At home, before you reach your dental clinic, you can do the following-
Stop the bleeding first- rinse your mouth with saline solution and apply pressure to the area with a clean gauze to stop bleeding. You can use a cold compress for pain, swelling, and bleeding.
For a broken or knocked-out tooth- ask someone to rinse the tooth and soak in milk or do it yourself if you are alone. Don’t forget to call someone to take you to the dental emergency clinic. If you can hold the tooth in the socket, do it so that it can be saved. Else save the pieces in milk.
For toothache- rinse with a warm saline solution. You may apply clove oil to the tooth. Take an over-the-counter painkiller.
Reach out for emergency dental care by calling Morgan Hill Dentistry. Have someone drive you to the clinic. You can also visit the ER if it is an emergency and you cannot contact the service provider.