There you are…finally on that tropical vacation you’ve planned for all year. You’ve caught up on sleep, your tan looks amazing and you’ve been having a great time with your family. Then a little phenomenon known as Murphy’s Law strikes: if something can go wrong, it will!
You wake up one morning and your face is terribly swollen and extremely painful on one side. Sadly, there will be no snorkeling today – instead you have to try finding a local dentist to get you out of pain until you get home. If you’ve ever found yourself in this unfortunate situation, a dentist in Pensacola explains how to avoid it in the future!
What Conditions Can Lead To an Emergency?
Generally speaking, the more dental work a tooth has had, the more unpredictable it can be. For example, if a tooth has a large filling in it, it’s structurally much weaker than a tooth with a small filling or no filling at all.
Similarly, teeth can have cracks or fractures that make it hard to know how they’ll stand up to daily chewing forces.
A final consideration is how old your current dental work is. All dental work is subject to wear-and-tear and needs to be replaced at some point. Sometimes you can get 20 years or more out of crown or bridge, other times that work may need to be replaced sooner.
If any of these situations go too long without proper monitoring, they can result in an emergency toothache. Or in the case of cracks or fractures, a tooth may actually break.
Thankfully, you can avoid many of these issues by seeing your dentist regularly. It’s the number one thing you can do to prevent an emergency situation. Your Pensacola dentist is trained to know when to recommend dental work or when to simply “watch” a tooth.
Knowing when a tooth is in trouble means that you can be proactive. After all, either you make the decision to have a tooth fixed or the tooth will make the decision for you, and usually at an inconvenient time!
What Else Can You Do To Avoid a Dental Emergency?
In addition to seeing your dentist regularly, here are some other things you can do stay healthy:
- Avoid hard foods – Ice and hard candy are off limits! It’s also a good idea to avoid chewing on pens or pencils and opening things with your teeth.
- Brush and floss consistently – Your daily hygiene routine will have a huge impact on your dental health. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy is much easier than treating problems after they’ve developed.
- Wear a night guard – This is a great way to protect your teeth from powerful clenching and grinding forces while you sleep. Ask your dentist if a night guard is right for you.
When it comes to dental health, the old adage is true: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. By taking these small steps to keep things healthy, you’ll never miss out on your vacation again!
About the Author
Dr. Benjamin J. Hodges has over 15 years of experience as a general, cosmetic and restorative dentist. One of his chief aims is using the power of prevention to keep his patients healthy in between visits. As such, he and his staff always take the time to educate patients on how to avoid dental emergencies and maintain excellent oral health. He can be reached for questions through his website, or at (850) 478-4260.