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5 major dental emergencies and how to handle them

5 major dental emergencies and how to handle them

Life is all about good and bad moments, accidents, and emergencies are an integral part of our life and always come unannounced. It is good to always think positive and stay happy but we can’t be blind and wait for the sky to fall. So it is better to be prepared and well versed to handle emergencies in life. As I have been practicing dentistry for the past 21 years, I would be happy to throw some light on dental emergencies and how to handle them easily at home before you can reach your dentist. What are dental emergencies? A dental emergency not only refers to tooth pain but other issues surrounding the tissues in the mouth which may need attention. Examples of dental emergencies include, but are not limited to, infections, fractured teeth, or dental restorations.

Knock out a permanent or adult tooth

Knock out a permanent or adult tooth

If accidentally, the permanent or adult tooth comes out of the socket unbroken, full, with root. Please keep it safe and moist at all times. If possible place the tooth back in the socket ‘don’t’ touch the root at all. Otherwise, keep between gum and cheek, or else keep in milk. Rush to the dentist right away.

Bleeding from the oral cavity

Bleeding from the oral cavity- Dental emergencies

One of the most common dental emergencies is bleeding from the oral cavity and the biggest mistake we do at that time is we keep rinsing more and more leading to an increase in bleeding. Never rinse or spit when there is bleeding from the mouth. Eat something cold like ice cream or milkshake or keep sipping ice-cold water sip by sip to keep bleeding under control. Strictly avoid warm food and aerated drinks. Contact the dentist immediately.

Cracked tooth

Cracked tooth - Dental emergencies

If the tooth cracks or breaks half rinse the mouth with warm water then cold compress in order to avoid swelling. Try pain remedies or else take pain killers. This can be quite painful as the nerve gets exposed.

Acute dental pain

Acute dental pain- Dental emergencies

This can be one of the most common dental emergencies but can be managed well till you reach the dentist.

  • Alcohol swab
  • Vanilla essence
  • Clove oil
  • Warm saline rinses
  • Cold compress
  • Place peppermint teabag
  • And see your dentist ASAP

Cheek bite or tongue bite

Cheek bite or tongue bite

Clean the area nicely with water. Apply glycerin. If any object gets stuck in teeth it can be very irritating. Try to remove with floss. Never use sharp objects.

Most dental issues are not a very important thing to discuss. People are not even bothered to go for a yearly dental checkup and prophylaxis (cleaning), so overall oral hygiene is a very big concern. To top it all if there is tooth pain, it’s very easy to pick up a pain killer and pop it to get temporary relief. We tend to go to a dentist only in case of pain and dental emergencies. Unfortunately, the dental pain is unbearable and occurs mostly at night so some simple tips at home to deal with the same before you reach a dentist can be really helpful.

Dr. Gunita Singh

BDS MD Dental Lasers,
Director Dentem & Associate Consultant
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi