Dental emergencies during your holiday break are the worst! Instead of enjoying family, food, and fun, you are driving around trying to find any open stores that carry something to alleviate dental pain or discomfort. We have heard the horror stories and want to give you some tips to avoid the holiday hustle and enjoy your holidays with a bright and beautiful smile. If you do find yourself in a dental emergency, look no further than Waco Dental in Waco, TX for teeth first-aid and full dental restoration.
What Are Some Common Dental Emergencies?
Good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups are the best way to prevent dental emergencies. As Benjamin Franklin said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. However, accidents can still happen, and timely help is the only way to save teeth or protect oral health. Some common dental problems that require prompt attention or treatment are:
1. Chipping or breaking a tooth
2. Toothache with swelling
3. Knocked out tooth
4. Partially dislodged or extruded tooth
5. Lost filling or lost dental crown
6. Abscess or tooth infection
7. Food debris between teeth
How Do I Know If I am Having A Dental Emergency?
When you have a toothache, it can be difficult to know what to do. You may be wondering if you need emergency dental services, or if you can wait to see a dentist. It’s important to remember that not all toothaches require emergency dental care. However, it can be the first sign of a more serious problem and lead to more serious dental problems. While our office hours may change during the holidays, Dr. Martin and our team are available by phone in case of a dental emergency. If you have a persistent toothache, please call our office to be connected to a dental specialist who can help relieve the pain or schedule an emergency appointment.
If you are in a situation where one or more teeth have been completely knocked out, your mouth has been injured, or a tooth abscess is causing a lot of pain, you may need to be seen immediately. Serious dental problems can lead to severe issues if not treated immediately. In some cases, it may be necessary to go to your nearest emergency room and get treatment for injuries related to dental and facial injury or advancing symptoms of infection.
On the other hand, a filling that has fallen out, a minimally chipped tooth, or a broken wire on braces are not as urgent. These situations can wait for a regularly scheduled appointment but always consult with your dentist for instructions on what action to take.
What Can I Do At Home If I Have A Dental Emergency?
Depending on the dental emergency, there may be things you can do at home to help minimize your pain or situation. One of the most important things to do is to remain calm. The following is a list of recommendations that you can apply at home to help with your situation:
- For Irritation or Swelling: Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a mug of warm water. Use this as a warm mouthwash to relieve irritation and reduce swelling. Since bacteria thrive in acidic environments and salt removes water from bacteria via osmosis, swishing with salt water can stop bacterial growth and reduce plaque and inflammation.
- For Teeth Being Knocked Out: If you have a tooth knocked out, put it in a glass of milk until you can get to your dentist. The sooner you get to see your dentist, the greater the chances of saving your tooth, so call us right away.
- For Food Debris or Focused Area Pain: If you are experiencing pain surrounding one specific tooth, it is possible that something has gotten stuck between your teeth or inside the gum tissue. Inspect the area in the mirror and floss the area gently. We do not suggest using toothpicks as they can break and get stuck in the same area making matters worse. Floss in a “c” motion around the area.
- For Injury & Prolonged Pain: Use a cold compress to help reduce swelling, numb irritation, and stop any bleeding that may occur. 20 minutes on & 20 minutes off as needed. Exposing skin to ice or a cold compress for too long can agitate the skin and add to your discomfort. You can also combine cold compresses with over-the-counter medications for extra pain relief.
- For Swelling & Prolonged Pain: Take the prescribed dose of over-the-counter pain medication to help alleviate any discomfort. Common pain relief medications include acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Follow the instructions and dosage amounts listed on the container. If the pain does not subside, call our office or seek emergency care.
Where Can I Seek Emergency Dental Care?
We are here to support you through any dental emergency and provide the best possible care. Call our office at (254) 754-3505 for an over-the-phone emergency consultation or to schedule an emergency appointment. Of course, Waco Dental also provides non-emergency comprehensive dental care services for your entire family to make sure you have a healthy and radiant smile throughout the holidays.