Dental emergencies although painful, aren’t usually life threatening, with a few exceptions. Here’s a guide on what to do in case of a Dental Emergency:
Sharp severe pain that keeps you up at night is usually a sign of infection of the tooth. In this case its best to see your dentist and get the necessary treatment done. Your doctor may advise you to get Root Canal or if the tooth is very badly decayed tooth, then an Extraction
Tooth Fractures caused by trauma, accidents and fights are the most common cause of tooth loss in people below the age of 35 years.
In case you fracture your tooth, the first thing to do is to look for the broken piece. In many cases it is possible to bond the broken piece back to your tooth.
If your tooth seems to be dislodged in the socket, i.e., it seems to have been pushed inwards or outwards but is still in your mouth, it is possible to reposition the tooth. You need to go the Dentist near you and get it repositioned and splinted.
If you had an Avulsion, i.e., the tooth completely pops out of its socket; it is still possible to save the tooth.
- The first thing to do in such a case is to find the dislodged piece.
- Make sure you hold the tooth from the crown portion and not the root portion.
- Do not try to clean or wipe the tooth. You can place sue clean cotton or cloth piece in your mouth to control the bleeding.
- Place the tooth in coconut water or milk. If neither of these is available you can also place the tooth in your mouth under your tongue.
- Try to go to a dentist as soon as possible. The sooner you get the tooth replanted, the better its life will be after replantation.
If you have been in an accident with orofacial trauma, your dentist may want you to get X-rays of the face to check for any Fractures of the Jaw.
Localized Swelling and Pain
If you have a painful swelling around a tooth, it needs urgent attention. Dental infections can spread quickly to the surrounding areas and ignored abscesses can be life threatening.
Signs include a painful, hard, diffuse swelling that may be accompanied by fever, trouble opening the mouth and general feeling of wellness. The overlying skin may seem red and shiny.
If treated early, the treatment may be limited to a Root canal or Extraction of the tooth to facilitate drainage. Bigger swelling may need to be drained intraorally or extraorally.
If you have any trouble swallowing or breathing in addition to these, you need to see a doctor ASAP!
Continuous Bleeding after Extraction:
Some amount of bleeding is common after extractions, especially in case of wisdom teeth extractions and multiple extractions.
But if there is continuous heavy bleeding after the extraction that hasn’t stopped, you should see your dentist.
This is more important in patients on Blood thinners and Anti Coagulant therapy.
You can freeze a wet teabag and bite on it while you go to your dentists’.
Aspiration or Ingestion of Dental Components
Ingestion (swallowing) of Dental Components like Temporary crowns, orthodontic brackets or Small removable dentures in not unheard of.
In case of ingestion of small components, no immediate intervention is necessary except for monitoring of stools to make sure the component has been passed. But in case you develop pain or vomiting, a trip to the hospital is necessary.
In case of ingestion of components bigger than 5cm, the risk of problems increases. So it may be advisable to get the component removed surgically instead of waiting for it to pass out naturally. In such a situation it is best to visit your nearest hospital
Aspiration (Breathing into your Airway) is comparatively more serious. At first if the object is visible, recline the patient and try to retrieve the object. You should encourage the patient to cough the component out. If this is not successful, the patient should be taken to a hospital immediately.
It is necessary to get and a chest radiograph to check for the location of the component and plan for retrieval.