Dental emergencies can happen at any time, but they’re especially problematic when they happen over the holidays. Whether you’re at home or traveling, knowing how to identify a dental emergency and what to do about it can help you protect your dental health. Here’s what we suggest to manage dental emergencies that come up during the holidays.
Know How to Identify a Dental Emergency
Dental emergencies can take different forms depending on what kind of emergency is taking place. Signs of a dental emergency include:
- You’re experiencing severe pain in your mouth
- Your tooth is chipped or broken
- You’ve lost a permanent tooth
- Your mouth is swollen
- Your mouth is injured
Take Action to Stop the Emergency
In almost all cases, the first course of action you should always take when experiencing a dental emergency is to call your dentist for next steps. One exception to this rule is loss of a permanent tooth.
What to Do If You Lose a Permanent Tooth
In a case like this, find the tooth and wash it off with saline, milk or saliva. Put the tooth back in the gap in your mouth to transport it safely to the dentist. While you’re doing this, have someone else at your home call the dentist for you.
Experiencing Dental Pain
If you haven’t lost a permanent tooth, here are some other things you can do to stop the emergency at home:
- Take an anti-inflammatory for mild pain. Ibuprofen or Naproxen are both common anti-inflammatory medications that work well for this. These medicines will temporary stop pain from a toothache.
- Rinse a painful tooth with warm saltwater. You can also try holding a whole dried clove against the tooth.
- Consider flossing in the area around the tooth. This can help remove any food that may have become wedged around the tooth (and thus painful).
Lost a Filling
Consider a temporary filling to fill the hole, if you have lost a filling. This is not an appropriate action if you’re seeing puss or blood coming out of the hole.
Sometimes holiday dental emergencies happen while you’re traveling and nowhere near a dentist. If you can’t get a hold of anyone at a dentist’s office, you can also go to the emergency room or to an urgent care facility if you’re in terrible pain. They may not be able to treat your infected tooth, but they can give you medication for the pain and antibiotics to stop the spread of an infection.
Talk to Your Dentist As Soon as Possible!
If you’re at home when your dental emergency happens, Smile Workshop offers emergency dental services to help with your pain and treat your problem. If you’re not at home, you might consider contacting a dental professional in the area where you are. If the dentist where you are can’t help you dealing with a dental emergency, then follow our advice above and make an appointment with Smile Workshop as soon as you return.
It’s no fun dealing with a dental emergency during holidays, but at least you have a dental professional that you can turn to for help! Keep Smile Workshop’s number on your phone just in case.