How To Handle Four Dental Emergencies
You signed up for a recreational hockey league this year at the encouragement of your friends. You’re lacing up the skates for the first time since you were in high school, but surely you can still play a little.
During a race for the puck, you get checked, lose your balance and fall face-first onto the ice. You start to laugh it off as you being rusty. Then you see it. There’s blood on the ice, and is that … your tooth?
If that happened, would you know what to do?
The first thing you should do is call the dentists at Hubbard & Leath Dental if you live in Troy, Auburn Hills, or anywhere else near Rochester Hills.
You can reach our dentist office at 248.266.2528. If you are calling outside our regular hours, we have a 24-hour answering service to help with problems that can’t wait until the next morning.
If you would like to know next in this and some other common dental emergencies, keep reading.
1. Lost tooth
The hockey accident we described above is just one of the ways you could lose a tooth.
You could get elbowed in the mouth trying to get a rebound during a basketball game. You could miss a baseball or softball thrown in your direction.
You could just walk or jog into something because you got distracted.
Whatever the reason, you are now missing a tooth.
First, find it if at all possible. If you do, pick the tooth up by the crown. Do not touch the root if you can avoid it.
Rinse your tooth to remove any dirt, and rinse your mouth with warm water. If you can try placing the tooth back in its socket. If that is not possible, place the tooth in a container of milk until we can treat you in person.
How you can prevent this: You can’t anticipate every possible accident. If you are playing a high impact sport like basketball or hockey, however, then you should be wearing an athletic mouthguard.
2. Chipped or broken tooth
The same kinds of accidents and injuries that we described above could cause your tooth to break. A puck, ball, elbow, or fall can cause part of your tooth to chip just like it could knock out your tooth.
Again, your first step is to find the broken piece or pieces of your tooth. Rinse the piece or pieces and place them in a container of milk until you can see the dentist. Rinse your mouth as well.
Your broken tooth could have a sharp edge or point that could cut your lip or tongue. It’s a good idea to cover your broken tooth with gauze or wax to reduce your risk of another injury.
How you can prevent this: Again if you are playing high-impact sports, you should wear an athletic mouthguard to protect your teeth and jaw.
3. Severe toothache
Try gargling with warm water, then use dental floss to remove food that might be stuck in your teeth or between your teeth and gums.
If that does not help, it’s OK to swallow an over-the-counter pain reliever to ease your pain. However, do NOT hold aspirin against your swollen gums. This can burn your gum tissue and make your problem worse.
How you can prevent this: Basic oral care is the best way to reduce your risk of a toothache. You need to brush twice a day, floss once a day, and come to Hubbard & Leath Dental for routine cleanings and examinations. If you do have a problem, we can often identify it and treat it before it becomes an emergency.
4. Loose wire on your braces
Biting into the wrong food or biting into something the wrong way could cause a wire to come loose on your braces. This wire could poke your gums, lips, or tongue.
If possible, use the eraser on the end of the pencil to gently push the wire to a safer position. You also should place some wax on the end of the loose wire.
You may need to rinse your mouth with water.
Do not cut the wire, however. This is risky and you could swallow it. This is a situation that is best left to professionals to handle.
How you can prevent this: Follow your dentist’s instructions regarding the proper care of your braces. That includes avoiding certain foods until your braces come off.
Ready To Help
If your dental emergency occurs during our regular hours, we will make your emergency a priority.
If it occurs outside our regular hours, we will do everything we can to see you as soon as possible. Remember, we have a 24-hour answering service, so we can be reached anytime.
Call 248.266.2528 to reach Hubbard & Leath Dental in Rochester Hills. We want to help as soon as we can if you are having a dental emergency.