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How to Handle Dental Emergencies:

Dental emergencies can lead to more than just cosmetic problems or pain –they can pose serious health risks in the medium and long term. For this reason, dental emergencies are best dealt with immediately. Here are some tips you need to know as you search for a dentist or an oral surgeon to help you treat your issue.  

Whatever you do, DO NOT WAIT. Contact your dental care professional immediately. While minor issues can be corrected via routine maintenance, severe ones that involve bleeding or pain should not wait. It’s better to get examined and cleared by your dentist than to let the problem persist or worsen.
Here are some common problems and they can be handled before visiting your dentist: 

Partially Dislodged (Extruded) Tooth- Visit your dentist right away. In the meantime, you can apply a cold compress outside the affected area to reduce swelling, and take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever such as Tylenol or Advil. Objects Caught Between your Teeth–Use dental floss to carefully remove the object. If you are unable to remove it, see your dentist. Do not use a sharp object to remove the object–this can injure your gums or scratch the enamel on your teeth. 

Lost Filling- Visit your dentist right away. As a temporary measure, you can use sugar free gum or OTC dental cement as a substitute for your lost filling. 

Lost Crown- Make an appointment to see your dentist immediately. While you are waiting to see your dentist, you can apply a small dosage of clove oil using a cotton swab to help ease any pain and discomfort. If possible, attempt to slip the crown back over the tooth using OTC dental cement, dental adhesive or toothpaste. NEVER use super glue! 

Broken Braces and Wires– Make an appointment with your dentist or orthodontist immediately. Try using the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire into a more comfortable position. An alternative is to cover the end with orthodontic wax, a small cotton ball, or some gauze until you can get to your dentist or orthodontist’s office. NEVER cut the wire! You can end up breathing it into your lungs or swallowing it. 

Loose Brackets and Bands- Make an appointment with your dentist or orthodontist immediately. You can use a small piece of orthodontic wax to 
temporarily reattach loose braces or provide them with a cushion as a temporary measure until you can get to your dentist’s office. If you can, save the loose band and spacers so your orthodontist can cement or replace them. 

Abscess– Make an appointment to see your dentist immediately. These are infections that occur around the root of a tooth or in the space between the teeth and gums. A pimple like swelling that is painful is evidence of an abscess and it should be treated right away. To ease the pain and draw the pus towards the surface, rinse your mouth with a mild salt water solution (1/2 teaspoon of table salt, 8 ounces of water). 

Soft Tissue Injuries- See your dentist right away for severe bleeding or swelling. Injuries to the cheek, gums, tongue and lips that result in minor bleeding and swelling can be controlled simply by: rinsing your mouth with a mile salt-water solution; using a piece of gauze or a tea bag to apply pressure to the site of bleeding, while holding it in place for 15 to 20 minutes; or using a cold compress and applying it to the affected area for 5 to 10 minutes. Head to your dentist or to an emergency room right away if the bleeding persists. Continue to apply pressure on the bleeding area until treated.
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