What Constitutes A Dental Emergency?
Dental emergencies can be obvious, such as a broken tooth or pain or trauma. Other issues such as mild sensitivity or a loose tooth probably aren’t emergencies, but they could be. If you think your child experiencing a dental emergency, do not hesitate to contact our office. Our team will take great care of you and provide treatment options.
Cold sensitivity generally means that something is irritating the nerve of the tooth. Often that means a cavity, but it could also mean that your teeth are exposed to acids. Most beverages, other than water, are acidic. Juices, bottled tea, and sodas are particularly sensitizing to teeth. Initially, the teeth become sweet or cold sensitive. Later, cavities are likely to form.
Cold or sweet sensitivity is mostly reversible by treating the tooth decay and eliminating the sources of sugar and acid.
Cracked/chipped teeth may be the result of dental trauma, such as a fall or hard hit to the mouth. But in situations where there has been no recent trauma yet, the presence of cracks or chips in the teeth may indicate grinding at night or during sleep that may require further correction.
Here are some tips for common dental emergencies:
For a knocked-out permanent or adult tooth, keep it moist at all times. If you can, try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. If that’s not possible, place it in between your cheek and gums, in milk, or use a tooth preservation product that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
For a cracked tooth, immediately rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area. Put cold compresses on the face to keep any swelling down.
If you bite your tongue or lip, clean the area gently with water and apply a cold compress.
For toothaches, rinse the mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between the teeth. Do not put aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues.
For objects stuck in the mouth, try to gently remove with floss but do not try to remove it with sharp or pointed instruments.
If your child should sustain an injury to the mouth or experience dental pain, please give our office a call. Our team is available for emergencies during and after office hours. Our office is also part of the pediatric dental emergency call group of Marin County, therefore there is always a pediatric dentist available for consultation of mouth trauma or dental concerns after hours, weekends, and holidays.