What plans do you have for spring break? Maybe you and the family are going to hang out at home and get some spring cleaning done, or maybe you’re going to head to the beach for a relaxing vacation. In any case, it’s safe to say that a dental emergency is not on your spring break to-do list. Still, it always seems like tooth problems strike at the most inconvenient time, especially when you deviate from your normal routine. How can you handle sudden tooth trouble? Here are some tips from an emergency dentist in Framingham.
Prepare for the Possibility
If you have a few basic items on hand when a dental emergency strikes, you’ll be more likely to handle the situation in the best way possible. You should have:
- Clove oil and painkillers. These can fight any discomfort that’s associated with a toothache or mouth injury.
- A tooth preservation kit. This will give you a place to safely store a tooth if one gets knocked out.
- Basic first-aid supplies. Gauze can help manage bleeding, and a cold pack is great for fighting swelling.
- Your dentist’s phone number. Call your dentist as soon as the emergency happens. They’ll give you specific guidance on what to do. You may tell you to head straight to a dental office or the emergency room, or you might be able to handle the situation on your own for a few days before you receive professional attention.
Guidelines for Specific Emergencies
Here are some tips on how to handle the most common dental emergencies:
- Knocked-out tooth. Handle the tooth gently, and only touch it by the crown (the part you normally see above the gum line). Store it in a preservation kit or in a glass of milk or water. If you visit a dentist within an hour or so, it’s possible they’ll be able to splint the tooth back into place.
- Toothache. Avoid chewing with the tooth, and use clove oil and painkillers to manage the discomfort. See a dentist as soon as you’re able. You may need root canal therapy or perhaps even an extraction.
- Lost filling or crown. You may be able to temporarily reattach a lost crown until you get a chance to see the dentist. In the meantime, avoid chewing on that side of your mouth. It’s also wise to avoid extremely hot or cold foods that could irritate the exposed tooth.
- A chipped or broken tooth. A chipped or broken tooth is more vulnerable to infection. A dentist might need to perform root canal therapy and place a crown. Again, you should avoid using the tooth as much as possible until a professional takes a look at it.
Hopefully, your spring break will go off without a hitch. But if you encounter a dental emergency, use the above tips to relieve your pain and protect your oral health.
About the Author
Dr. Mark Fried has been practicing dentistry for well over three decades. He works alongside the other dentists in his practice to provide comprehensive, highly skilled services to patients in Framingham and the surrounding areas. If you are facing a dental emergency or have questions about your oral health, contact Dr. Fried’s team at 508-872-9339.