What to do in a Dental Emergency and How to Avoid Them

dental emergency

Health tips | 23 Mar 2020

If you have ever had a dental emergency then you understand how frightful and painful it can be. Especially in these unprecedented times, where dental health can be overlooked due to the current health issue hysteria surrounding the globe. Understandably, many businesses are under a lot of changes and pressure right now, but here at the Neem Tree we are still around to help you. 

How do you know if you are having a dental emergency? 

If you are unsure whether your symptoms constitute as a dental emergency, answer the following questions:

  • Are you in severe pain?
  • Are any of your teeth loose?
  • Have you been hit in the mouth or face?
  • Is your face or mouth area swollen?
  • Do you have any swelling, knots or bulges on your gums?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, you might have a dental emergency and should call us for further advice. It is very important to describe exactly what you are feeling, where the pain (if any) is originating from and any causes you are aware of that has led to this stage. 

Should you call? Who should you call? Will anyone even pick up?

These are all very important questions. Of course there is a lot going on in the world, but your dental health is also Important. Give us a call at The Neem Tree and we will do our best to help you. 

Please be aware that our practices are currently closed and we are unable to provide emergency dental appointments. However, our phone lines are open and we are able to provide advice to our patients in dental emergencies. If your situation is serious we are able to direct you to local designated dental centres. 

Regardless of these issues, your dentist should be the first person you call when experiencing any abnormal pain or bleeding. Nagging tooth sensitivity, a very strong toothache, even a chipped tooth or a broken tooth; we are here to help you to deal with your emergency. There are a vast array of options that could be considered as a dental emergency. So, if you feel anything abnormal, the best thing to do would be to call your dentist as soon as possible, just to be on the safe side. 

Sticking to your morning and evening routine is so important! You’re probably sick of hearing the same thing again and again from your dentists but it’s repeated for a good reason!

Brush your teeth twice a day. Ideally before breakfast and the last thing you do before bed. Using a sort of aid such as mouthwash or dental floss in between your teeth will also ensure the perfect health of your teeth. 

Whilst many of you are self isolating it is very easy to over eat junk food or continue snacking on sweets and chocolates. It is so important for the health of your teeth, that you do not do this. 

Avoid foods and drinks with strong colours. This includes curries, blueberries, red wine and coffee. All these items have strong colours that may stain your teeth. Everything is good within moderation, just make sure to do a good brush of your teeth after. However, avoiding these foods will help your teeth stay white. Balance is always good though 😉 

Supervise your children while brushing. Usually, this isn’t kids’ most fun task to do during the day so they usually try to do it as fast as possible to get it over and done with. Supervising them while brushing their teeth twice a day will help them get into a routine, after breakfast and before going to bed. This will also make them understand that it is not a task that should be rushed. 

Brushing your teeth alongside them will help them replicate the correct way to brush and might even make brushing their teeth a fun experience to do daily with you.

No one likes veggies when they’re young, chocolate and chicken nuggets are always better! 

Getting your kids to eat fruits and vegetables is often quite hard, but getting them used to having something healthy within every meal will get them into a good habit to eat less processed foods and more fruits, veggies, grains and protein. Treating food like chocolates, chicken nuggets and burgers as a once a week treat will help them understand that these foods are not to be eaten everyday. They can also be treated as a reward for good behaviour or even  a reward for brushing their teeth every day, twice a day.

Good oral health starts with the right routine for the little ones!

Limit or avoid sugar and refined carbs.

There are many recipes out there of how to make delicious treats that are healthy and low in sugar. A good example of this are fruit popsicles! Freeze 100% fruit juices in an ice tray with a small wooden stick in the middle. Freeze for a couple hours and there you have it! A healthy popsicle, made easily within 5 minutes! 

Going to the dentist can be a scary thing. Dental phobia is real!

The good thing is we are well trained with how to deal with your anxiety. Our team is very friendly and we aim to make our practice a very comfortable environment for you to make sure you will definitely want to come back. We have longer appointments available to ensure that you can take your time to become comfortable with your dentist and feel at ease. 

Here at The Neem Tree we try to make your experience as ‘enjoyable’ and comfortable as possible. 

Teeth sensitivity 

When you are experiencing tooth sensitivity certain activities such as brushing, eating and drinking can cause sharp pain in your teeth. Sensitive teeth can be a result of many different things. If you are bothered by sensitive teeth visit your dentist! They can identify what the cause is or rule out any underlying cause of your tooth pain.

While you are waiting for an appointment avoid very drastic temperatures such as very cold or very warm food or drinks. You can also try to eat on the other side of your mouth until you are able to be seen by one of us.

It is important to note that while a lot of people have sensitive teeth that can be normal, being in pain is not normal! Make sure to be seen by your dentist.

Depending on the circumstances, your dentist might recommend one of the following treatments: 

  • Using a soft-bristled toothbrush 
  • Avoid certain food (eg. highly acidic)
  • Desensitizing toothpaste. There are several brands of toothpaste that are made specifically for those with sensitive teeth. 
  • Use a fluoridated mouthwash daily

Loose tooth 

If you have a tooth that is loose or out of alignment, you should definitely call for an emergency appointment before it gets worse or causes further problems.

In the meantime it can be very tempting to try and attempt to put the tooth back in its original position. You can try this by using your CLEAN finger with VERY LIGHT pressure. DO not try to force it. The best option would be to wait for your dentist to take a look and see what treatment will be necessary.

It is very important for us to assess the bone and gums around the tooth in order to provide the best treatment. The options are usually to keep or extract the tooth. We will always offer the best replacement options in case we need to remove the tooth. 

Other Dental Emergencies 

Any dental problem that requires immediate treatment in order to save your teeth or treat your gums, stopping ongoing tissue bleeding or alleviate severe pain is considered a dental emergency. 

If there is any infection in the mouth, it can be life threatening and many infections can be irreversible and therefore need to be dealt with immediately. 

Being prepared for a dental emergency 

A dental emergency can happen at any given moment. So, it would really come in handy if you were a bit prepared for it. The best thing to do is not to panic. Pack a small dental first aid kit and keep it with you wherever you go. The kit contains the following item which could be useful to you when experiencing a dental emergency: 

  • Small container with a lid 
  • Name and contact details of your dentist 
  • Gauze
  • Acetaminophen (not aspirin or ibuprofen because they can act as blood thinners that cause excessive bleeding during a dental emergency).
  • Handkerchief