Dental emergencies can happen when you least expect them, including at home during the COVID-19 health crisis. Knowing what to do if you have an infected tooth or experience an accident can be the difference between saving or losing a tooth. Do you know how to respond to bleeding gums or a lost filling? Here are 8 tips for temporary relief if you cannot reach an emergency dentist in Green Bay right away.
#1: Chipped or Broken Tooth
A chipped or broken tooth can leave a sharp edge inside your mouth that irritates the tongue. Try to gently smooth only the chipped tooth with an emery board, being careful to avoid scraping nearby teeth. If your tongue becomes sore from frequently touching the chipped area, check with your local pharmacist for a soothing remedy.
#2: Lost Filling
First, follow the instructions above if there is a sharp edge. Avoid chewing in the area where the filling has fallen out until it can be replaced. Consider buying temporary filling material from the pharmacy to keep the opening plugged until you can see your dentist.
#3: Loose Tooth
A tooth can become loose for a variety of reasons, including a sudden physical accident, gum disease or an internal infection. Treatment will vary depending on the cause of the problem, so it is important to see a dentist as soon as it’s practical. In the meantime, avoid chewing with the affected tooth or playing with it with your tongue.
#4: Bleeding Gums
Bleeding is a common symptom of the early stages of gum disease. Schedule a professional cleaning with your dentist in Green Bay as soon as it’s practical. In the meantime, be sure to diligently practice good oral hygiene by brushing twice a day, flossing and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash.
#5: Gum Swelling
Swelling is another common symptom of gum disease. In addition to practicing excellent oral hygiene, rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water between 3 to 5 times per day. If swelling increases, seek medical or dental attention as soon as you reasonably can.
#6: Jaw Swelling
Follow the instructions above to rinse with salt water daily. In addition, place an ice pack on the outside of the swollen area for 20 minutes on, followed by 20 minutes off. Jaw swelling can indicate a genuine medical emergency, so do not hesitate to seek medical attention if swelling increases.
#7: TMJ Pain
Place a cold compress on the outside of the jaw joint for the first 24 hours. Afterward, use a warm compress on the area. Avoid eating sticky, chewy or crunchy foods and limit opening your mouth all the way when eating or speaking. Try to reduce subconsciously clenching or grinding your teeth by temporarily placing the tip of your tongue in between your upper and lower front teeth.
#8: Tooth Pain
Take over-the-counter pain medication to ease any pain from a toothache. Be sure to follow the directions on the side of the medication packaging. Even if the toothache subsides, it is still important to schedule a dental appointment when practical, as the underlying condition likely has not disappeared.
Knowing how to take action in case of a dental emergency is even more important during these uncertain times. Use the 8 tips above if the unexpected happens while stay-at-home orders are in place.
About the Author
Dr. Scott Quandt is the expert emergency dentist in Green Bay that your neighbors trust to provide urgent dental care. The proud Marquette University Dental School graduate knows how to treat both advanced infections and sudden accidental injuries and is currently accepting emergency appointments. To learn more about how to prevent and respond to dental emergencies, visit Dr. Quandt’s website or call 920-499-6466.