1. Is it a Dental Emergency?
Smoothing a chipped tooth, re-cementing a crown that is not causing pain and such problems can be dealt with composite bonding to repair a tooth are not dental emergencies during your dentist's regular office hours. Typically, If you are not sure whether or not you are having a true dental emergency, answer the following questions:
1) Are you bleeding from the mouth?
2) Are you in severe pain?
3) Do you have any loose teeth?
4) Have you been hit in the face or mouth?
5) Do you have any swelling in the mouth or facial area?
6) Do you have any bulges, swelling or knots on your gums?
* If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be having a dental emergency and should call your dentist immediately. It's important to describe to your dentist exactly what has happened and what you are feeling.
* If you experience extreme pain caused by hot or warm foods or beverages, try drinking ice water. It might relieve the pain. Sip on ice water and hold some in your mouth until you see the dentist.
* If you are having sensitivity to cold or if it causes pain to breathe in air, avoid cold foods and beverages. Breathe through your nose and call your dentist's office.
* If you experience pain in a tooth when biting down, it might indicate an abscess. This is an emergency and you should call your dentist's office.
2. How to Avoid a Dental Emergency
Many dental emergencies can be easily avoided by having routine check ups with your dentist to ensure that your mouth and teeth are healthy, strong and free from decay.
Wearing a mouth guard during sports activities will help to prevent teeth from being chipped, knocked out or broken. Avoid chewing on ice and hard foods that may break or fracture your teeth. If you are planning to travel out of the country or leaving for an extended vacation, during which you may not have ready access to dental care, it is important to see your dentist for a routine check up before you leave. Your dentist can make sure that you don't have any loose crowns or teeth, decay close to the nerve of a tooth that could cause you pain or develop into an abscess or other problems that could be easily fixed before becoming a dental emergency later.
3.Being Prepared for a Dental Emergency
Because a dental emergency can happen at any time and place, the best thing to do is be prepared and don't panic. Pack and keep with you a small dental first aid kit containing the following:
1) Small container with a lid
2) Name and phone number of your dentist
3) Acetaminophen (not aspirin or ibuprofen because they can act as a blood thinner and cause excessive bleeding during a dental emergency).
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