It can happen in the blink of an eye – you’ve cracked a tooth after tripping on the sidewalk, or a part of your mouth has suddenly exploded with serious, distracting pain. These situations can be frightening, but it’s important to remain calm and find help as soon as possible. Having a trustworthy and experienced dentist like Dr. Cheung already in your corner can make a big difference in your recovery, and our Plano team makes time to see emergency cases as soon as possible. Please don’t hesitate to contact us today whether you’re a recurring patient or a brand-new one.
What Do I Do After Experiencing a Dental Emergency?
First, call our office right away! Then, here are some tips that can improve your situation until you’re able to reach help:
If you’ve knocked out a tooth, make sure not to touch its roots or natural tissues. Rinse the crown off under lukewarm water as carefully as possible and then insert it back into its original placement within the mouth, holding it in place. If this can’t be done, you can also hold the tooth in the cheek of your mouth (as long as there’s no danger of the patient accidentally swallowing it) or place it in a container of milk. Time is truly of the essence in cases where a lost tooth is concerned, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us right away.
If you have a bad toothache, try flossing around the area of the mouth that the pain is coming from. It’s possible that something is stuck there and directly causing the irritation. You can use painkillers to relieve the discomfort, but it’s important to NOT place it directly on the gum tissue, as this can cause a burning sensation.
If you’ve broken or cracked a tooth, facial swelling is likely to happen. You can hold a cold compress against the appropriate cheek to reduce the effect. If any significant parts of the tooth have become dislodged, gather them and bring them to the office.
If you’ve bitten your lip or tongue, clean the injured area very carefully with a cloth and apply a cold compress. If bleeding continues at a heavy pace and isn’t affected by pressure, you need to go straight to the nearest emergency room.
How Can I Prevent Dental Emergencies?
It’s important to remember that it’s never possible to prevent a dental emergency with 100% certainty. However, there are ways that patients and families can reduce their risk:
Exercise caution when enjoying foods that are overly tough, hard to chew, or sticky. Also, don’t chew on the ice in your drink.
Use scissors to open the tricky packaging and not your teeth.
Always wear an athletic mouthguard when participating in a sport where physical contact with hard objects/other players is a distinct possibility.
Don’t bite your nails.
Always attend regular checkups and cleanings with Dr. Cheung! Dental emergencies can get their start in a gradual fashion, and our team is more than capable of catching and treating them early on.