Knocked Out Tooth? A Dental Emergency KIt Can Save Your Smile
In an earlier blog, we wrote about the dangers that summer activities pose to your teeth. Running and playing and generally having a good time can often lead to an accident that might damage your smile. Whether you chip a tooth or knock it completely out, being prepared with a dental emergency kit will give you the best chance of saving your smile.
Here at Clearwater Dental Associates, we want you to enjoy yourself and have fun this summer, but we also want you to be prepared for an emergency. Here are some things you will want to have on hand if that does happen.
Types of Emergencies
Lots of activities can lead to a dental emergency. Obviously, a tumble on a skateboard or an elbow to the face in an intense pick-up basketball can put a gap in our smile, but it doesn’t have to be something so extreme. A leisurely walk in the woods can end in pain, if somebody in front of you lets a limb go with warning. Or a fast-paced game of table tennis can cost you a tooth if your opponent doesn’t have a good grip on that paddle.
Chipped or broken tooth – Oftentimes, a chipped tooth is a cosmetic issue, and not necessarily an emergency, but that really depends on how big the chip is. If a big enough chunk is broken off your tooth, nerves may become exposed, and that is painful and unhealthy. If the piece of tooth is big enough to to leave a noticeable gap in your smile, then try to find the broken piece and call our office.
Knocked Out Tooth – If you take a blow to the mouth to knock a tooth clean out, then a quick reaction and access to a dental emergency kit could be the difference between saving your tooth and losing it.
Place the tooth in a small container and cover it with milk or saliva to keep it healthy, and then call our office right away. If the tooth is not too damaged, then we may be able to restore it.
A Sudden and Severe Toothache – If you are suddenly stricken with an intense pain in one or more tooth, this could be an indication of a couple of things. It could be a sign of infection related to untreated tooth decay, or you may have fractured your tooth in a previous injury, but it has gone unnoticed until it caused this toothache.
Whatever the cause of the toothache, you will want to take some fast acting pain killers, either acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin), and make an appointment as soon as possible. If the pain goes away, do not cancel your appointment. Whatever caused the toothache did not just go away. In fact, this could be a sign of nerve damage, making the situation even more urgent.
Also, if the toothache is accompanied by a fever, you should go to the ER, as this means the infection is severe and needs to be treated immediately.
Soft Tissue Damage – A cut lip, gum, or cheek can be painful and are often hard to heal. Because of the near constant movement of your mouth, wounds will repeatedly reopen. To stop the bleeding, apply pressure with a moistened gauze for at least fifteen minutes. If the bleeding does not stop, then you should go to the ER.
Your Dental Emergency Kit
A dental emergency kit is essentially a first aid kit for your mouth, so you will a few of them and keep them anywhere you would keep a first aid kit, like your car or under the kitchen sink.
Sterile Gauze – These are important to stop bleeding, either from soft tissue damage or from a tooth injury. Gauze can also be used to make a cold compress if you ever experience swelling due to a dental emergency.
Pain Killers – You always want to keep some pain killers around. The pain is often the worse part of an emergency, so to get through it, strong pain killers will be necessary. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are the best ones to keep around. You want to avoid aspirin in cases of injury, especially when bleeding occurs, because aspirin is a blood thinner that could make the bleeding worse.
A Small Container – If a tooth gets knocked out, you are going to need something to put it in, so a small container is a must have for your dental emergency kit. It can also be used to hold broken dental appliances, like athletic mouthguards or dentures.
Whatever the emergency is, you will need to contact us as soon as possible so that we can instruct you on how to proceed, so it is important that you keep our contact information in your dental emergency kit.
At Clearwater Dental Associates, we can help you be prepared for those unforeseen mishaps that threaten your dental health. Call us today for more information on what to put in your dental emergency kit.