The most common emergency complaint is a toothache. Let’s discuss what you should do if you are out of town or unable to get to a dentist and you encounter a dental emergency. While this WebMD article is thorough, there are some very simple things you can do. According to this MouthHealthy article, there are three things you can do to prevent a tooth injury:
- Wear a mouthguard when playing full-contact sports.
- Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels, and hard candy.
- Never use your teeth to cut or open things—use scissors.
In Case of a Toothache
If you wake up in the middle of the night with a toothache, first try Anbesol or Orajel, over-the-counter pain relievers. If the pain is too great and you are away from your normal dentist, look for a walk-in dental clinic. The pain is probably the result of an infection or abscess. Timely treatment is key.
In Case of a Broken Tooth
If you lose or break a tooth, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, if you can safely keep the offending tooth in its spot against your gums without swallowing it, make a dentist appointment within 24 hours. Secondly, if you can’t keep the tooth in your mouth, it’s best to keep the tooth in a glass of milk. You’ll still only have about 24 hours before the tooth is no longer viable.
~Dr. Chai (a.k.a. Dr. Tooth!)