“Help! I have a Dental Emergency”
While you’re gearing up to head out on summer vacation this year, you’ll probably pack a bunch of first-aid items, extra clothes, and a load of medication because you can’t be too careful. Anything can happen at anytime. But what do you do if you have a dental emergency while away? At my Vienna dental office, we’re happy to provide you some tips to take with you.
A Knocked Out Tooth
If this happens, whether on vacation or not, the first thing you should do is remain calm. Second, make sure there are no other serious injuries. Once you confirm all is well, you can start to work on saving that tooth — but only if the tooth is permanent. If a baby tooth is lost, make sure to schedule a visit as soon as possible upon your return to make sure no permanent teeth were damaged. If the lost tooth is permanent, and assuming both the roots and the crown were knocked out, try the following steps:
- Only touch the top of the tooth to limit damage to the roots.
- Gently rinse it with water.
- Attempt to insert it back into the socket.
- Control any bleeding with gauze.
- Call a dentist as soon as possible.
If you’re unable to get the tooth back into the socket, put the tooth in some milk or a cup of your spit — never store it in water! Then get to a dentist immediately.
Chips and Breaks
An unpopped popcorn kernel, a fall, or using teeth to open packaging can cause a tooth to chip or break. Again, don’t panic. Simply rinse your mouth with warm water to gently wash away any lingering particles. If you’re bleeding, gently apply gauze and use pressure until the bleeding stops.
Toothaches are usually the mouth’s way of saying, “Hey! Something’s not right in here!” And it’s important to listen. When toothaches happen, the best thing to do is schedule an appointment as soon as you can. But if you’re on vacation, try clove oil or rinsing with warm salt water (1 tsp. sea salt per 8 oz. of water). Cloves have natural anti-inflammatory and anesthetic properties, while salt water can limit swelling and help kill dangerous bacteria.
Emergencies of any kind are no fun, especially if they interrupt a vacation. If you do experience a dental emergency while away, give my dental office in Vienna a call as soon as you return. We’ll want to ensure the problem is no longer active and if it is, we will work with you to treat it comfortably.
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