Ignoring a dental problem can increase the risk of permanent damage as well as the need for more extensive and expensive treatment later on. Pain involving these parts of the mouth, even when minor, can indicate a severe underlying problem that could worsen with time. It is important to contact a dentist as soon as possible for a professional evaluation to minimize damage to the teeth, gums, and the supporting bone. Short-term action can be taken to relieve oral pain, which can be very severe.
Here are some common problems and how to relieve them until you can get in to see your dentist:
Thoroughly rinse your mouth with warm water. Use dental floss to remove any lodged food. If your mouth is swollen, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek. Never put aspirin or any other painkiller against the gums near the aching tooth because it may burn the gum tissue.
Chipped or broken teeth
Save any pieces. Rinse the mouth using warm water; rinse any broken pieces. If there’s bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. Apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth, cheek, or lip near the broken/chipped tooth to keep any swelling down and relieve pain.
Retrieve the tooth, hold it by the crown, and rinse off the tooth root with water. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, try to put the tooth back in place. Make sure it’s facing the right way. Never force it into the socket. If it’s not possible to reinsert the tooth into the socket, put the tooth in a small container of milk or a product containing cell growth medium, such as Save-a-Tooth. Knocked out teeth with the highest chances of being saved are those seen by the dentist and returned to their socket within 1 hour of being knocked out.
See your dentist right away. Until you reach your dentist’s office, to relieve pain, apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected area. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
If the crown falls off, make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible and bring the crown with you. If you can’t get to the dentist right away and the tooth is causing pain, use a cotton swab to apply a little clove oil to the sensitive area. If possible, slip the crown back over the tooth. Before doing so, coat the inner surface with an over-the-counter dental cement, toothpaste, or denture adhesive, to help hold the crown in place. Do not use super glue!
No matter what the emergency, call your dentist as soon as possible. The Dental Centre understands the serious nature of an emergency and we will do everything we can to get you seen and fixed up the same day.