Dental emergencies often occur when people play sports or engage in other physical activities. If a dental emergency occurs, it's important you or others take immediate action. Saving your tooth and repairing dental damage starts immediately. Here's what you need to know.
Know When It's a Dental Emergency or a Medical Emergency
A dental emergency is any situation where you risk permanent loss of one or more teeth. While you're engaging in a physical activity, a sudden trauma can damage a tooth in several ways. Usually, a dental emergency occurs when one of the following things happen:
- You chip, break, or crack a tooth
- A tooth moves out of place or becomes knocked loose
- A tooth comes completely out
All of these things can represent a dental emergency because they need immediate care. Even if the issues doesn't seem so bad, tooth damage can cause you further dental issues if left alone.
When It's a Medical Issue
It's possible for sudden trauma to cause other problems, such as damage to your gums or other soft tissue. If the dental issue causes other problems, then it's more than a dental issue.
For example, consider if you fall and chip a tooth. If that chipped tooth tears at the flesh inside your mouth and causes heavy bleeding, then you need medical attention first.
Understand some bleeding may occur from any dental emergency. Try to rinse your mouth with warm water. Use a clean cloth or gauze on the bleeding area. If the blood doesn't slow, then you should definitely seek medical attention.
Know What You Need To Do
If it's a medical emergency, you or someone else needs to call an ambulance immediately. If it's just a dental emergency, you will have to take some steps to save your tooth or teeth.
For a damaged tooth: Rinse your mouth with warm water and apply cold pressure.
For a misaligned tooth: Gently attempt to push the tooth back into its proper place. Then, avoid doing anything that will cause it to move.
For a missing tooth: Try to find the missing tooth. Try to pick it up without touching the root. Rinse the tooth in warm water. Attempt to place it back in its proper place.
If you cannot hold the tooth in place, then hold it between your cheeks and gums. If you cannot do that, then you can wrap the tooth in gauze and place it into milk.
Once you've done what you can, you should contact an emergency dentist, or a dental office that provides emergency services. By acting promptly, you can buy yourself a little extra time. However, you should not wait to have the damaged tooth attended by a dentist.