3 Common Dental Emergencies And How To Handle Them

Most people schedule routine dental appointments twice a year and avoid the dentist's office at all costs otherwise. Unfortunately, when a dental emergency occurs, immediate treatment is required to protect your dental health. By understanding a few of the most common dental emergencies and what to do (aside from seeking emergency dental care) if they happen to you, you'll be well prepared in the event of a dental catastrophe.

A Knocked-Out Tooth

Having a tooth knocked out would absolutely be considered emergency dentistry. Most often, this occurs as a result of trauma, such as being in a car accident or being hit in the mouth with a foreign object. When a tooth is knocked out, the key is to try to recover the lost tooth. If it's still intact, place it in a plastic bag or other container and bring it with you to your dentist. If there is any bleeding, place a piece of gauze over the socket and bite down.

A Painful Abscess

Abscesses occur when a cavity has gone untreated for so long that an infection has spread to the jawbone. An abscess will need to be officially diagnosed by a dentist, but if you are experiencing severe pain in the mouth, along with a noticeable bump along the gum line, the best thing you can do in the meantime is to rinse your mouth with salty water and take a pain killer until you're able to see your dentist. The salt water will help to draw pus out of the abscess and relieve some of the pain, but the abscess will still need to be treated by a dentist as soon as possible.

A Lost Dental Filling

Lost fillings are very common and, depending on the size of the original cavity, can be quite uncomfortable. If you've lost a filling, you can purchase over-the-counter dental cement as a temporary fix. In a bind, you can also "plug" the cavity with a piece of sugar-free gum. Neither of these offer long-term solutions, however, and you should see your dentist to have the filling redone as soon as possible.

These are just a few of the most common dental emergencies that dentists see on a regular basis. By knowing what to do if one of these happens to you, you can reduce your pain and discomfort and increase your chances of successful treatment by your dental team, not to mention keeping your smile looking great!