You wake up and your tooth is throbbing. You may have been experiencing some pain in recent days, but nothing like this.
You try to drink something, but that only makes the pain worse. You are starting to think that you may be having a dental emergency.
What should you do?
If you live in or near Birmingham, MI, then you should call the dentist at Newingham Dental Center.
You can reach our office at 248-972-8720, or if you are already a patient, you can call Dr. Newingham directly on his cell phone.
Sometimes dental emergencies demand immediate action. At other times, we can advise you on what to do until you are able to make it to the dentist’s office.
Kinds Of Dental Emergencies
You probably realize that dental emergencies can occur at any time. If we knew they were going to happen, we would take steps to prevent them.
You may be able to reduce your risk of having a dental emergency (such as wearing an athletic mouthguard while playing high-impact sports), but we can’t ever eliminate the risk completely.
This is why it’s a good idea to know what to do and what to use to provide dental “first aid” if an emergency does happen.
Before we get into some specifics, please remember to wear latex or vinyl gloves if you are helping someone who his having a dental emergency. The gloves are meant to protect you from bodily fluids.
This is the example we mentioned in our introduction. Teeth should not cause you pain. When they do that means something is wrong.
It’s possible that you have an infected tooth. Before you assume that, it’s a good idea to get some dental floss. You may be able to use it to remove something that has become stuck. If so, that may be the cause of your pain.
If the dental floss does not dislodge anything or it does and the pain persists, then you should call our office to make an appointment. In the meantime, you can apply ice to reduce swelling and numb the pain.
Some people may prefer an over-the-counter pain reliever. That is fine to take as directed. However, it is important that you do NOT hold aspirin in your mouth near the tooth in question. Aspirin can burn soft tissues, which can create a new problem.
➤ Broken Tooth
Most people like a piece of candy from time to time, but a piece of hard candy can be harder than you expect. Sometimes it’s so hard that it can cause a piece of your tooth to break free.
This is just one of many reasons that you may lose a portion of a tooth. No matter the reason, you should take steps to address the situation right away.
First, find the missing pieces if at all possible. Bring this with you to the dentist.
Second, rinse your mouth to remove any blood. You can use gauze to wipe up blood or to apply pressure to stop bleeding.
When the bleeding has stopped, cover your tooth with gauze or dental wax. This will protect your lips, tongue, and cheeks in case your broken tooth has a sharp edge or point.
Again, you can use ice to reduce swelling or pain relievers, as needed.
➤ Lost Tooth
We certainly hope you don’t lose a tooth, but we also know how popular hockey is around here. If you should come out on the wrong end, you may wind up with a missing tooth.
The first thing you should do is try to find the missing tooth. If you do, carefully pick it up by the crown.
Rinse the tooth to remove any dirt, and rinse your mouth to remove any blood. Use gauze to soak up blood or to apply pressure to stop bleeding.
If possible, place the tooth back in its socket. If it will stay, leave it there until you are able to see our dentist. If it won’t stay, keep the tooth in a container of milk until you are able to see the dentist.
In some cases, it may be possible to save the tooth. In others, we will discuss options for replacing it.
Time To Act
If you or someone you know should experience a dental emergency, we want you to know that you can always call Newingham Dental Center at 248-972-8720. Our dentist office is in Birmingham, MI, and we are a short drive from communities like Troy and Royal Oak.