Common holiday dental emergencies

Very few things send you into a frantic panic, quite like a holiday dental emergency. While we do everything within our control to see our patients as soon as possible, it also pays to know how to approach a dental emergency at home and right when it happens.

A little preparation will help you to feel empowered in knowing precisely what to do if you’re faced with one of these seven common holiday dental emergencies.

A Toothache

Start by rinsing your mouth with lukewarm salt water several times. Follow rinsing with brushing and flossing to ensure there aren’t any painful food particles stuck under your gum tissue. Apply an ice pack to the outside of your cheek in the painful area. An over-the-counter pain reliever can help with any discomfort.

An Infection or Abscess

A swollen cheek or a noticeable pimple-like bump on your gums is an indication of a severe infection. An Abscess can spread to other areas of the body and become dangerous in left untreated. Call your dentist right away to schedule an emergency dental appointment. Until you can be seen, rinse with salt water to help relieve pain and reduce swelling in addition to over-the-counter pain medication.

 A Chipped or Broken Tooth

If you’ve found yourself with a chipped, cracked, or broken tooth, save any pieces of the tooth, if possible. Rinse your mouth with warm water, and also carefully rinse the pieces of the tooth. If you experience persistent bleeding, apply gauze for 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. Apply an ice pack to the area to aid in reducing any swelling. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever to minimize discomfort.

A Lost Filling

Save any pieces of a lost filling, if possible. Cover the exposed area with gauze if the lost filling has left your tooth with any sharp edges.

A Loose Tooth

To manage any tenderness or pain, apply a cold compress to your cheek, and take over-the-counter pain medication as directed. Avoid hard or crunchy foods in addition to chewing on the area where the loose tooth is located.

A Dental Crown That Came Off

Both permanent and temporary crowns can come off. This is typically most common when you are chewing, so always avoid swallowing the crown if possible. After saving any pieces, gently rinse and dry the crown. Put a dab of dental cement from the drugstore (or toothpaste in a pinch) inside the crown and attempt to place it back over the tooth.

Notify your dental office of the issue, and never attempt to glue the crown back on with super glue or any other type of adhesive. Your dentist will remove and permanently reinstall the crown at your emergency dental appointment.

A Knocked-Out Tooth

Retrieve the tooth and rinse the root with water gently. Do not scrub the tooth or remove any attached tissue. Try to put the tooth back in the socket with it facing the right way, but never force it. If you’re unable to reinsert it, place the tooth in a cup of milk or saltwater. Because knocked out teeth have the highest chance of being saved when they replaced within 1 hour, seek care immediately.

After-Hours Dental Emergencies

Hoffman Dental Care never wants our patients to suffer in silence. It never hurts to contact our office regardless of the hour. We are always here to help during the holidays, and if our office is closed for the day, that doesn’t mean you can’t reach us. Leave us a message, and follow the instructions in the recording for what to do in a dental emergency.

Keep Hoffman Dental Care in your phone book so you can reach us quickly and easily during a dental emergency.