Accidents will happen no matter how careful we are. What important is to have presence of mind to deal with the situation. According to American Dental Association (ADA), dental emergencies have increased each year due to increasing involvement in physical activities or sports.
There are several causes of tooth injury that require immediate dental care such as:
- Physical / Contact Sports or Activity
- Biting down on something hard
- Impact to the face or mouth
- Falling that causing the head to make contact with a hard surface
Listed below are dental emergencies and its management:
- Cracked Teeth
Cracked teeth are commonly caused by biting on a hard object or food and can also be caused by large restorations. You may feel hypersensitivity when drinking cold beverages or when air passes in your mouth. And upon inspection, a vertical line or crack in your tooth may be visible. You will know if a tooth has a crack if it doesn’t hurt when you bite, but is painful when you release.
Cracked teeth can’t be treated at home. You must visit your dentist as soon as possible to have a radiograph taken and assess the health of your tooth. The crack may just be on the outer surface of the tooth but can also extend up to the nerve or pulp. If it extends through and through, it might result into breaking the tooth into half vertically or horizontally.
- Broken or ChippedTeeth
Broken or chipped off teeth is the most common result of hitting your face or mouth on a hard surface.
If you have a broken tooth, see your dentist as soon as possible. Gargle with warm water prior to going to the dentist. If bleeding is present, apply pressure with a gauze for 5-10 minutes or until the bleeding has stopped. Apply an ice pack over the lips or cheeks to reduce swelling, as well as over-the-counter pain medication if pain is present.
- Knocked Out Teeth
Just like chipped teeth, your teeth may commonly be knocked out after falling or after an impact to your face or mouth.
Hold the tooth on the crown area, rinse it quickly, and try to put it back into the socket without touching the root of the tooth. If you can’t place it back comfortably, put the tooth in a small container of your saliva or milk and go to your dentist as soon as possible. Apply an ice pack to lessen swelling and stop bleeding.
Remember to go to your dentist as soon as possible after experiencing a dental emergency. The sooner you see your dentist, the higher chance of saving your tooth with less complications.