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Dental emergency tips: What to do first

by bob.g (follow)
Hygiene (35)     
Dental emergencies can happen at any time. Knowing what to do and what not to do can mean the difference between saving or losing one or more tooth. Even if the extent of damage is not immediately evident, it can become costly to treat it at a later time.

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A Broken Tooth

Teeth can break off due to a number of reasons which include chewing on foods that are hard – such as candy, grinding your teeth, or in an accident. They also may become weak if the filling is large or if there is decay below. When you have a broken tooth, rinse your mouth out with warm water, especially in the area where the tooth is broken. If swelling occurs, apply a cold compress. If there is any bleeding, you can put a piece of gauze on the area for about 10 minutes. Make an appointment with the dentist as soon as you can.

A Knocked Out Tooth

When you have a tooth that has been knocked completely loose, take it out of your mouth, but try to only touch the top part – the crown. Do not wash the tooth at all, not even with water. If it is dirty, rinse it. If possible, try to put the tooth back in its socket. Otherwise, put the tooth into milk, if you can, and get to the dentist quickly.

You will also want to follow this procedure if a child has had a baby tooth knocked out. Take it to the dentist quickly, and let the dentist determine if it should be reinserted or not.


Sometimes food particles or certain types of food can aggravate a sensitive tooth. When you have a toothache, rinse your mouth out using warm water. Take a piece of dental floss and use it to clean out any food that may be lodged next to the tooth. If there is swelling, put a cold compress on your cheek next to the tooth that hurts. Get to the dentist as soon as you can.

A Root Canal

A root canal will be necessary when you have a tooth that has become infected or seriously decayed. The procedure involves removing the pulp in the tooth, as well as the nerve, and then cleaning and sealing it. Although symptoms as to when a root canal is needed are not always present, a good indicator is when you see a pimple on your gums near the tooth with swelling, or when a tooth becomes discoloured.

Lost Fillings

When a filling is lost, it is going to leave a hole in your tooth. Food can build up quickly in that hole, and decay can start. It may not be long before the tooth becomes sensitive to heat or cold. Eventually, it is likely to lead to serious tooth pain if not treated. See your dentist soon to replace the filling.

A Cracked Tooth

When a tooth becomes cracked, you want to rinse your mouth out with warm water. Apply a cold compress to your face to reduce swelling. See your dentist right away.

Broken Dentures

When dentures break, it is going to cause a few serious problems. Eating and talking are going to be affected. Because of the disruption, and because dentures may take some time to repair, it is advised that you see your dentist immediately. This will minimize the time it takes to repair them and get them back to you.

When you face a dental emergency or sudden dental problem, you want to take care of it quickly, rather than wait and let it go. Your teeth and gums are important to you, and dentists can help you maintain your beautiful smile and help your teeth last longer.

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