Dental emergencies can occur at the most awkward times and it is not always easy to find help. If you are suffering from a painful dental condition, you will need treatment even if it is a bank holiday. We discuss common problems and how you can help yourself whilst waiting for an appointment.
Common Dental Emergencies
There are a number of conditions that will really benefit from prompt dental treatment. Perhaps the thing that requires the fastest intervention is the kind of injury where your tooth is dislodged from its socket. This is known as “avulsion” and immediate replantation offers the best prognosis. The tooth should be gently rinsed with tap water, taking care not to cause any damage to the root. You should then try to replace the tooth in its socket and contact a dentist for further treatment. If the tooth cannot be replaced it should be stored in saliva or cold milk until dental treatment is available. The same applies if more than one tooth has been knocked out. Other dental conditions for which you may need emergency treatment include:
- Broken teeth
- Broken dentures
- Dental abscesses
- Lost crowns or fillings
- Serious swelling that suggests possible infection
- Excessive bleeding following tooth extraction
- Problems with wisdom teeth
- Injuries to the face and jaw
In some cases such as loose crowns, relief may be obtained through the use of a dental repair kit. These are available from many pharmacies and can be used to hold the tooth together until you can see a dentist. They are not very easy to use and only provide a very temporary solution. Lost fillings can also be replaced by using a temporary filling repair kit that will provide a short term resolution to your problem, but you will naturally have to see a dentist as soon as possible. Toothache and facial pain generally should be treated with over the counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen whilst you are waiting to see your dentist. In larger cities such as Manchester emergency dentist cover is easier to access than in certain more rural areas.
Maintaining good dental health
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy is the best way to avoid dental problems. Your intake of sugary foods should be limited. If you do want to eat them, only have them occasionally and at mealtimes rather than between meals. Teeth should be brushed twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste and you should also brush your tongue and gums gently. The spaces between your teeth should be regularly cleaned with dental floss and a mouthwash used if necessary. Ensure you have regular dental check- ups, at least once a year or as advised by your dentist. You may need your teeth professionally cleaned by a dental hygienist your dentist will also advise if this is necessary.
Most dental emergencies can be prevented by looking after your dental health and seeing your dentist regularly. This way, potential problems can be recognised and treated before they become acute emergencies.
Peter Smith writes regularly on health for a selection of lifestyle websites and blogs. He has needed the services of an experienced Manchester emergency dentist himself after experiencing a facial injury whilst mountain biking.