A trip to the dentist is one of those things that everybody loves to avoid. That is, until you’re dealing with a dental emergency and you need to see a dentist ASAP. As dentists in Greenville, we see plenty of urgent dental situations so we know first hand that accidents happen. Whether it’s a chipped or loose tooth or a tooth infection, Carolina Oaks Dental Care of Greenville is here to help. Here are some common types of dental emergencies and what to do if it happens to you.
1. Knocked Out Permanent Teeth
Maybe you went down too hard in football tackle. Maybe you tripped while running and your front teeth took the brunt of the fall. Whatever the cause, losing one of your permanent teeth is one of the most common tooth emergencies and it requires immediate attention. First things first, avoid touching the root. Then keep the tooth and root moist either by placing it back in its socket, safely keeping it in your mouth between your gums and cheek, or storing it in a container filled with milk, saliva or a tooth preservation product. Then contact our office to book an emergency dental appointment in Greenville. The sooner you’re able to get into your Greenville dentist, the better chance you have of restoring your beautiful smile.
2. Chipped, Cracked or Broken Teeth
What do popcorn and olives have in common? Besides both being delicious snacks, they can also both contain unexpected hard bits that can crack your teeth. It’s extremely common to chip your teeth on a rogue popcorn kernel or olive pit (and any number of other hard, crunchy foods) — but what do you do if it happens? Rinse your mouth with water to get rid of tiny fragments and then book an appointment with your dentist to fix up your broken tooth. Going forward, avoid biting into hard foods or substances, and never use your teeth for anything other than eating (like opening packages).
An unexpected toothache can cause serious disruption to your daily life. They can get extremely painful, especially if left untreated, so if you’re experiencing tooth pain, it’s important to see a dentist right away. Toothaches can be caused by infection, abscesses, severe decay or fractures. Treatment will depend on what’s causing your toothache but may require a filling, root canal or, in extreme cases, tooth extraction. Fortunately, by following proper oral hygiene practices, you can avoid the conditions that cause toothaches. Be sure to floss and brush your teeth regularly, and visit your dentist for a routine check-up every six months.
Speaking of tooth abscesses, these painful infections that affect the teeth and gums are a serious oral health concern. If left untreated, abscesses can lead to tooth and tissue damage, and the infection may even spread throughout the body. If you notice a pimple-like lesion on your gums that causes pain, call us immediately and we’ll get you in for an emergency appointment. To relieve discomfort and draw the infection out, make a saltwater solution with ½ teaspoon of salt and eight ounces of water. Use this to rinse your mouth several times a day.
5. Lost Filling
So now you know what to do if you break or lose a tooth, but what if a filling falls out? While not as urgent as some other dental emergencies, it’s still something you’ll want to get fixed as soon as possible. In the meantime, keep the area clean and clear of food particles to avoid bacteria build-up, and use dental cement or sugarfree gum to temporarily pack the empty space.
Tips to Prevent Dental Emergencies
While dental emergencies are often unavoidable, there are things you can do to prevent damage to your teeth and gums. Here are some of the best (and easiest) ways to keep your mouth safe from harm:
- Avoid chewing on hard, crunchy things (like popcorn kernels and hard candies)
- Floss and brush your teeth regularly to avoid tooth decay and gum disease
- Wear a mouthguard when playing sports or participating in other recreational activities
- Never use your teeth as scissors
- Continue to see your dentist every six months for a check-up and routine cleaning
And remember, if you do experience a dental emergency, Carolina Oaks Dental Care of Greenville is happy to offer urgent dentistry. After all, dental emergencies are stressful — but getting proper care doesn’t have to be. Just call our Greenville dental office and we’ll get you in for an emergency appointment.