It’s 9 am on a Saturday morning, and you’re excited because you’ve got plans to head down to West Florida Railroad Museum with your family to celebrate the holidays, by watching the model trains steam along. As you dash through the house getting the family together, you slip on a rug and crack your tooth. Your first thought is that you need to visit a dentist in Pensacola for immediate help, but until you can get in to be seen what should you do?
What’s Considered a Dental Emergency?
A dental emergency is a situation that causes or displays a sudden change in the normal healthy state of your mouth. The following situations qualify as dental emergencies.
- Partially dislodged tooth – This is a tooth that is partially loosened from its socket.
- Fully knocked out tooth – The tooth has been completely dislodged from the socket.
- Broken/cracked tooth – There is a crack or break to the tooth.
- Painful toothache – When there is persistent pain in the tooth, it can be a sign of cavity, decay, or gum disease.
- Jaw injury – This is trauma or injury to your jawbone that could be a sign of a fracture.
- Soft tissues injury – This is an injury to either the tongue, cheeks, gums or lips.
- Object stuck in teeth – When a foreign object is stuck in your teeth your body can respond by causing inflammation in the area.
- Oral Bleeding – This could be an indicator of gum disease or other more serious conditions.
What to Do in a Dental Emergency
Dental emergencies should be treated with a sense of urgency. If an emergency happens over the holidays remember not to panic. Then, immediately reach out to your Pensacola dentist.
For a partially knocked out tooth, try to stabilize it in the root by not eating anything, which could encourage further movement. If it is fully dislodged, though, carefully grab the tooth by the crown and reinsert it back into its correct socket.
In cases of broken or chipped teeth, you may experience sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, but your saliva will normally insulate the area within a few hours to a few days and calm the pain. Although the pain may temporarily subside, you should still make plans to be examined by your dentist as soon as possible.
In cases of toothache, jaw, and soft tissue injuries make sure to monitor swelling. You can use the 3-3-3 method of three Advil (600 mg total), three times a day, for three days. This method should not be used if you are taking any medication or have a pre-existing condition that has adverse reactions to ibuprofen (Advil).
If there is an object in your teeth you can try flossing to remove it. Even if you are able to remove the object, be sure to schedule an examination with your dentist as soon as possible, to address any spacing between your teeth that allows objects to get stuck.
Your holiday celebrations don’t have to be ruined because of your dental emergency. Take these steps for temporary relief, and be sure to schedule an appointment as soon as possible with your Pensacola dentist.
About the Author
Dr. Benjamin J, Hodges obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1998. He then attended Dental School at the University of Mississippi in Jackson. He has been practicing at Benjamin J. Hodges, DMD Family & Cosmetic Dentistry for the last six years in Pensacola. You can find more information about him through his website.