What to Do During a Dental Emergency
If you have ever had a dental emergency you know how stressful it can be. If your emergency occurs when your dentist is unavailable it can be even more stressful. Whether your emergency occurs over a weekend or your dentist is off to a dental convention, a dental emergency can be hard to manage on your own. We would like to offer some helpful advice that will help you cope with with emergencies should they come up.
Of course the best way to cope with potential emergencies is to avoid them in the first place. The most common emergency is pain or swelling from an infected tooth. In most cases this does not occur suddenly but rather going untreated over time. Typically a person will have some degree of discomfort over time before they start to experience severe pain and are in need of emergency dental care. So the best advice is to visit your dentist at the first sign of any pain or discomfort in your teeth or gums.
When you do have one of these emergencies and your dentist is unavailable, there are several thing that can help. Pain in the teeth or gums can be effectively handled with over the counter pain relievers such as Advil or Tylenol. Rinsing with warm salt water is also very effective and can give temporary relief to puffy or swollen cheeks and gums. Mix a teaspoon of salt into an eight ounce glass of warm water. A store bought product such as Orajel also can be effective in relieving minor soreness of the gums.
If you are facing a broken tooth, use wax or even some soft chewing gum to cover the sharp edge until your dentist can see you.
Hopefully you will at least be able to reach your dentist over the phone for advice about your emergency. They can phone in to the pharmacy for any pain medication or antibiotics that may be necessary to get you through until you can be seen.
If your dentist is going to be out of the office for a few days, they should have another dentist that can see you and treat your dental emergency.