Tooth Replacement and Emergency Care
Immediate action when a dental emergency occurs can prevent permanent damage and help ease pain.
A common dental problem is a toothache.
Cavities do not cause pain until they have progressed to the point of possibly jeopardizing the tooth. Toothaches require immediate attention for this reason. Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Tylenol™ or aspirin may relieve some of the sensitivity. Avoid extreme temperature and sweets as this may aggravate the symptoms. Call Dr. Sulken immediately – even if the pain goes away, the sooner the problem is treated, the smaller the chance of permanent damage to the tooth or the mouth.
If the pain is due to a lost filling, the filling should be replaced as soon as possible in order to prevent further decay from food particles and bacteria.
An abscess or swelling is caused by an infection in the tooth or gum. An abscess can have a serious affect on your general health as well as the health of the adjoining teeth or tissues and will not go away by itself. An over-the-counter pain reliever such as Tylenol™ or Aspirin may relieve some of the pain temporarily, call your dentist as soon as possible. Do not place aspirin directly on the gums or in the mouth to dissolve. Aspirin will burn the tissues of the mouth.
What if my tooth is knocked out?
If a tooth is knocked out, pick it up by the crown, not the root so as not to damage any nerve endings. Place it in a glass of milk, salt water or a moist towel. Time is very important in a case such as this – if you see your dentist within 30 minutes, there is a good chance the tooth may be successfully re-implanted. If there is bleeding or swelling, apply ice for swelling and pressure for bleeding. Exercising good judgement and proper preventive measures should help you avoid injuries. Together with your dentist, you can work to keep your healthy smile. No matter what the emergency, your dentist is the best person to contact in case there is a problem or question.
Teeth and Sports Injuries
Sports injuries can include injury to the teeth and in order to safeguard against potentially serious and painful injuries certain precautions should be taken.
Mouthguards are a good form of protection and should be worn by all athletes, young and old.
Mouthguards act as shock absorbers for the teeth and help too avoid fractured or lost teeth. There are three types of mouthguards, custom fitted, mouth formed and stock. All three vary in price, effectiveness and comfort. Your dentist can recommend which one would be most useful relative to the sport during which it will be worn. Hockey, lacrosse, football, squash and boxing are sports which all require the use of a good mouth guard. These sports are high risk as far as dental injuries are concerned, and necessary precautions must be taken. Volleyball, baseball, skate boarding and basketball are all sports, which are less risky. However, proper care should be exercised with these sports as well. If the jaw or teeth sustain an injury, notify your dentist immediately, or go to the hospital emergency room if necessary.
A fractured jaw needs to be cared for immediately.
If the jaw is broken, it will be painful, and very difficult to use the jaw. Immobilize the jaw, you may want to tie a cloth around it, do not move your mouth. Go to your dentist or emergency room immediately.