Dental emergencies are fairly common, and an estimated 1 in 5 people have had some kind of dental pain in the last 6 months. While you can certainly avoid many emergencies with regular checkups and good oral hygiene at home, it’s impossible to prevent them all. The first step when you’re in pain is to call an emergency dentist in Orange Park (with a couple of exceptions that require hospital care, which are discussed below). You can also use the tips in this blog to manage the situation until your appointment. By acting quickly, you’ll not only get out of pain faster but also minimize any damage to your smile!
Tips For Common Dental Emergencies
- Knocked-Out Tooth – With a knocked-out tooth, it usually can’t be saved after one hour, so time is of the essence. After calling a dentist, pick up the tooth and rinse it off (being careful not to drop it and holding it only by the crown, not the root). Adults can try to put it back in its socket (children are at risk of swallowing it). If that’s not an option, you can hold it in your cheek pouch or a glass of milk. It’s crucial that the tooth stays moist, but only use tap water as an absolute last resort because it can damage the tooth.
- Broken tooth or filling – Rinse out your mouth with lukewarm water. For pain, apply a cold compress to the outside of your cheek and take OTC pain medication. Use dental wax from the store to cover any sharp edges. The tooth will be prone to breaking again, so even if you’re not in pain, you still need to see a dentist.
- Toothache, Abscess or Swelling – These are all common signs of a dental infection, which can become dangerous or even life-threatening if it goes untreated. If you can’t make it to a dentist within a few hours, go to the nearest hospital or urgent care center. In the meantime, take OTC pain medication as directed, swish with lukewarm salt water every 1-2 hours and apply a cold compress. Remember, even if the pain goes away, you still need to see an emergency dentist in Orange Park ASAP.
Should You Go To the Hospital?
The following emergencies require medical attention first. After you’ve been stabilized, you can call a dentist for any dental work that’s necessary. In the meantime, use these tips until you arrive for medical care:
- Serious cuts and/or major bleeding – If possible, gently clean the area with cool water and mild soap. Use a clean, damp towel or cloth to apply firm pressure.
- A broken jaw – Tie a scarf or necktie around your head and under your chin to minimize movement (just make sure it’s not too tight). For pain and swelling, take OTC pain medication and gently apply a cold compress.
Although dental emergencies can be scary (and usually happen at the worst times), these tips will help you handle the situation and move forward with your oral health intact.
About the Author
Dr. Natasha Patel is a second-generation dentist who makes emergency care a priority. She and her team have advanced training and years of experience and are always just a phone call away. Her office is also open every Saturday to accommodate patients when they need her most. If you’d like to know more about handling dental emergencies or have any questions, she can be reached via her website.