Dental Emergencies

Most dental emergencies can be avoided by following a daily schedule of brushing the teeth followed by flossing twice a day and visiting your dentist every six months for a routine dental check up

Some common dental problems seen

  • Tooth ache
  • Dental abscess and swelling
  • Chipped or broken tooth
  • Knocked out tooth or a partially dislodged tooth
  • Oral ulcers
  • Pericoronitis from erupting wisdom Molars
  • Allergic reactions
  • Lost filling
  • Lost crown
  • Chipped veneer or crown
  • Broken or loose braces

TOOTH ACHE
Tooth ache can be caused by inflammation of the gums, teeth or bone and may require antibiotics and treatment.

  • First, thoroughly rinse your mouth with warm water and use dental floss to remove any lodged food.
  • If your mouth is swollen, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek. Never put aspirin or any other pain killer against the gums near the aching tooth because it may burn the gum tissue.
  • Over the counter pain killers and soft food can be taken
  • Make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible

DENTAL ABSCESS AND SWELLING
A Dental abscess is an infection that occurs around the root of a tooth, in the space between the teeth and gums or in the bone. It is a serious condition that can damage tissue and surrounding teeth, with the infection possibly spreading to other parts of the face and blood if left untreated. A hollow tunnel sometimes forms through the bone and skin to allow pus to drain called a fistula or “sinus tract.” You might see or feel this opening inside your mouth. It looks like a pimple. If you have pus draining through a fistula, you might notice a strange taste in your mouth.

  • First rinse your mouth with warm water mixed with salt (half a teaspoon to a glass) and use dental floss to remove any lodged food.
  • Over the counter pain killers and soft food can be taken
  • Make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible as you may require antibiotics and root canal treatment or extraction.
  • If your mouth is swollen, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek. Never put aspirin or any other pain killer against the gums near the aching tooth because it may burn the gum tissue.

CHIPPED OR BROKEN TOOTH
Teeth are remarkably strong, but they can chip, crack or break from biting something hard, a fall or if the teeth have large cavities. When a tooth chips or breaks, it may not hurt. However if a large piece of the tooth breaks off, it can hurt because the nerve inside the tooth may be damaged

  • Gently rinse and save any pieces as it may be possible for the dentist to bond it back to the tooth. If this is not possible a tooth coloured bonded filling can be done. Your dentist will advise you if Root Canal Treatment is required.
  • Apply pressure to the area with a moist gauze if there is any bleeding.
  • Over the counter pain killers and soft food can be taken
  • Make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible

KNOCKED OUT TOOTH AND PARTIALLY DISLODGED TOOTH
Sometimes a tooth is knocked loose or comes partway out of its socket because of an injury. In all cases, see your dentist as quickly as possible. Knocked out teeth with the highest chances of being saved are those seen by the dentist and returned to their socket within 1 hour of being knocked out. If the tooth is not broken and its nerve and blood vessels are still attached, the tooth may be saved by splinting the tooth and performing a root canal.

  • Leave the tooth in your mouth if it is partially out of the socket but never force it into the socket.
  • If it has been knocked out, then retrieve the tooth, hold it by the crown (the part that is usually exposed in the mouth), and rinse off the tooth root with water if it’s dirty. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments.
  • If it’s not possible to reinsert the tooth in the socket, put the tooth in a small container of milk or cup of water that contains a pinch of table salt or a cup of tender coconut water and take it to your dentist. • Apply pressure to the area with a moist gauze if there is any bleeding.
  • Over the counter pain killers and soft food can be taken
  • Make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible

ORAL ULCERS
Oral ulcers can be caused by trauma from the sharp edge of a filling, long term pain medication which also upsets the stomach, vitamin deficiencies, stress and bacterial and viral infections. They can be painful and debilitating.

  • Always follow a healthy well balanced diet, stay well hydrated and take medications only as advised by a doctor.
  • Gently rinse the mouth with warm water mixed with salt (half a teaspoon to a glass) to remove any debris and food particles.
  • Apply and over the counter topical anaesthetic gel like GEE-X to the affected area as many times as required as it is continually washed away by saliva.
  • Visit your dentist as soon as possible to identify or relieve the cause of the ulcers

ALLERGIC REACTION
Very few people are allergic to materials used in the dental clinic but if you are then please inform the dentist and reception to avoid any medical mishaps. Sometimes you might develop a bad reaction to antibiotics or pain medication prescribed by the doctor.

  • Call your dentist or if unavailable visit the nearest hospital to reverse or relieve the symptoms such as breathlessness, nausea, diarrhea, rashes and disorientation.
  • Stop the medication when any of these symptoms are felt and call your dentist for a change in medication as early as possible.
  • Note down the name of the medication for future reference and to update your medical records.

LOST FILLING AND LOST CROWN
Old fillings and crowns can get dislodged due to wear, trauma and dissolution of the dental cement. If the tooth fractures along with it then root canal treatment may be advised.

  • Always retrieve the crown and bring it with you as it may be possible to re cement it if the tooth is intact.
  • Old fillings can be easily replaced and restored.
  • Over the counter pain killers and soft food can be taken taking care not to chew on the affected side.
  • Make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible

CHIPPED VENEER OR CROWN
A veneer or crown may chip while biting something hard or due to a fall. Most of the time it can be repaired by the dentist to match the exact shade and shape of the original restoration. If the fracture is very large then the old veneer or crown can be easily removed and impressions can be taken to make a new one in a single sitting with virtually no pain.

  • Over the counter pain killers and soft food can be taken, taking care not to chew on the affected side.
  • Make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible as the restoration may be repaired or rounded off if it has sharp edges

BROKEN OR LOOSE ORTHODONTIC BRACES OR WIRES
A wire or bracket may come loose while biting something hard or due to a fall and may injure the surrounding gums, cheeks or tongue.

  • If you can’t reposition the wire, cover the end with orthodontic wax, a small cotton ball, or piece of gauze until you can get to the dentist.
  • Never cut the wire, as you could end up swallowing it and hurting yourself.
  • If a bracket or wire comes out, your orthodontist may be able to bond it back on the tooth.
  • Over the counter pain killers and soft food can be taken, taking care not to chew on the affected side.
  • Make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible