Has this ever happened to you? You’re sound asleep when suddenly you’re jolted awake by a sharp, throbbing pain in your mouth. Uh oh – it’s a toothache! Or maybe you took a spill playing basketball and chipped your front tooth. When dental disasters strike, it’s important to know what to do to ease pain, avoid further damage, and get the help you need. Our team at Champaign Dental Group is here to guide you through common dental emergencies so you can take action right away. Read on for our essential tips!
Assess the Situation and Act Fast
When faced with a dental emergency, the first step is to quickly evaluate what’s happening in your mouth. Are you experiencing severe tooth pain or sensitivity? Is there swelling in your gums, face or neck? Have you knocked out a filling or crown? Is a tooth loose, cracked or chipped? Once you identify the issue, you can determine the best way to manage it until you can reach emergency dental care. Time is of the essence, so don’t delay taking action to protect your oral health.
Relieve Tooth Pain ASAP
Toothaches and dental pain should never be ignored. The sooner you can alleviate the pain, the better. If you have severe tooth sensitivity or throbbing pain from a cavity or cracked tooth, over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can provide temporary relief. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water may also help reduce inflammation. Be very gentle when brushing and flossing to avoid aggravating the affected tooth and surrounding gums. And of course, call our emergency dental hotline right away so we can diagnose and treat the problem.
Stop Bleeding with Light Pressure
Accidents happen, and you may end up with a dental injury that causes bleeding in your mouth. Whether you’ve lost a baby tooth prematurely or cut your gums, it’s important to stop the bleeding promptly. First, rinse your mouth with cool water to clear away excess blood. Next, apply firm, direct pressure to the wound using a clean gauze pad or damp tea bag. Hold it in place for about 30-60 minutes and avoid repeatedly checking on the area. The bleeding should stop as a clot forms. Keeping the area stable will prevent dislodging the clot while the injury heals.
Stabilize Cracked, Loose or Knocked Out Teeth
Dealing with a dental emergency like a cracked, loose or knocked out tooth can be frightening, but keeping your composure is key. Timely first aid can greatly improve the chances of saving the tooth. Rinse out your mouth and find the tooth fragment or tooth if possible. For cracks, cover the cracked portion with dental wax or sugar-free chewing gum to stabilize it. For a loose adult tooth, bite down firmly on a moistened gauze pad or tea bag to keep it in place. For knocked out teeth, avoid touching the root and gently rinse off dirt if needed. Place it in a container of milk or saline solution, or slip it between your cheek and gums if you can’t store it. Then, get to our dentists immediately – the sooner it is reimplanted, the better!
Seek Prompt Care for Abscesses
Abscesses are localized infections in the mouth, often at the root of a decayed tooth. You may notice throbbing pain, sensitivity to hot or cold, swollen lymph nodes, and pus around the affected tooth. Abscesses require urgent dental care because the infection can spread quickly. We will drain the pus, perform a root canal or extraction, and prescribe antibiotics to clear the infection. Don’t delay treatment for gum abscesses as they can be life-threatening.
Manage Traumatic Injuries
Dental injuries can happen, especially for active kids and athletes. If teeth are fractured or knocked out by a blow to the face, prompt attention is needed to restore form and function. Rinse out the mouth with water and bring any broken tooth pieces with you to our office. For jaw fractures, use cold compresses and get immediate medical help to align the bones properly. Our dentists will splint injured teeth, perform restorations, and monitor you for complications. With rapid care, traumatic dental injuries don’t have to ruin your smile!
Get Help ASAP from Champaign Dental Group
During dental emergencies, turn to the trusted Champaign dental group for urgent care. We offer emergency dental treatment during and after office hours to provide relief when you need it most. Our skilled dentists will diagnose the problem and provide appropriate, efficient treatment to save damaged teeth and ease discomfort. We have all the advanced tools and technology required for procedures like root canals, tooth extractions, and dental implant placements to fix cracked, infected or knocked out teeth. You’ll be in the best hands with our compassionate, dedicated dental team!
Know When to Visit the Emergency Room
While we can treat most dental emergencies, some complex traumatic injuries require emergency hospital care. Seek immediate medical attention at the closest ER if you experience severe facial swelling, uncontrolled bleeding, loss of consciousness or knock out multiple permanent teeth. The doctors can stitch wounds, set fractures and prevent life-threatening infection before you visit us for follow-up dental repair. Don’t take chances – get emergency medical intervention for major dental trauma.
Prevent Dental Emergencies with Proactive Care
The best way to avoid dental emergencies is preventative dental care. Be diligent about regular checkups and cleanings every 6 months to catch problems early. We can seal pits and fissures in molars, provide mouthguards for sports, and monitor you for signs of decay or infection before it turns into a painful emergency. Fixing small cavities and cracks right away keeps them from worsening into major tooth disasters. With a little effort, you can maintain excellent oral health and smile confidently knowing your teeth are in the clear!
Maintain Good Oral Hygiene Habits
Practicing excellent oral hygiene at home will also help you avoid dental emergencies. Brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day with a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Clean between teeth daily with floss or interdental brushes. Use antiseptic mouthwash to reduce bacteria. Limit sugary and acidic foods and drinks which can erode enamel. Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water, especially if taking medications that cause dry mouth. With diligent home care, you can greatly lower your risk of dental issues and pain.
Protect Teeth from Trauma
Since dental injuries often happen accidentally, take steps to shield your mouth during activities. Wear fitted mouthguards and helmets for contact sports like football, boxing or hockey. Buckle seatbelts properly to avoid hitting the dashboard in a collision. Install safety gates, furniture pads and window guards if you have young children prone to falls. And keep an eye on sharp objects that pose dangers – supervise kids around pencils, scissors etc. With some simple precautions, you can help prevent traumatic dental emergencies.
We’re Here for You Around the Clock
No one wants to suffer dental pain or accidents, but rest assured we can guide you through any dental emergency quickly and comfortably. We hope these tips help you take the right actions when issues pop up and avoid permanent damage. Our Champaign dental office is open extended hours with an emergency dentist on call nights and weekends. Call our emergency hotline at any time when you need urgent dental care. From toothaches to chipped teeth, we’ll promptly diagnose the problem and help you smile brightly again!