What would you guess is the number one reason people visit the dentist for emergencies? Pain is the number one reason individuals come to the dentist when it is not a routine visit but an emergency. Dental pain can be caused by dental cavity, fractured tooth, from a filling that has fallen out, a tooth that has become infected. Sometimes dental pain is caused by an injury involving the mouth or teeth.
Visiting your dentist right away prevents the situation from becoming worse.
Call your dentist anytime you experience dental pain, swelling or bleeding of an unusual nature. Sports injuries involving the mouth or teeth are another reason for contacting a dentist.
It is important to call your dentist if you have lost a crown or filling even if you do not experience any pain or swelling or other problems.
You can experience dental pain for many reasons. Severe pain can be caused by lodged food in cavity that irritates a nerve inside the tooth. A filling or crown that has been lost can cause pain if the exposed hole comes in contact with cold air, hot or cold fluids or substances that touch the uncovered part of the tooth. Popcorn often causes pain in-between the teeth when flossing doesn’t remove the kernel and the gum becomes irritated and swollen.
Another thing that can cause dental pain is an abscess, which is a dental infection and can also be a serious health problem.
If you notice pain when you bite or chew food, and you also experience a foul odor or a bad taste in your mouth, all of these signs can be from a dental abscess. Dental abscesses need immediate dental treatment.
What to do if you have a dental emergency?
Call your regular dentist and make an appointment to be seen immediately.
Follow any instructions your dentist gives you.
Common instructions are to take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. It is vitally important to see your dentist because if you just take the pain medicine and don’t see a dentist, the infection can spread and even become life threatening.
Another thing you can do until you see the dentist is to rinse your mouth out with warm water every hour until you see the doctor. The warm water should help with the pain.
If you think your pain is caused by food debris, rinsing your mouth with warm water and flossing may help to dislodge the debris.
If the emergency is because you lost a filling or a crown you can take a clean cotton swab, dip it in Clove oil, and apply it to the exposed part of the tooth. If you do not have Clove oil, use a preparation such as Anbesol.
You can apply a cold compress to the OUTSIDE of your face over the area that hurts to relieve the pain. Apply a cold compress for 10 to 20 minutes every hour until you see the dentist.
Never travel by air when you have a dental emergency, the changes in air pressure as the plane takes off and lands can make a dental emergency worse.