The 101 on Dental Emergencies

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First-aid is something that most people have a basic understanding of. This is important since you never know when something will happen that would require immediate care before being seen by a doctor or one of our dentists. You can also help prevent dental emergencies by taking good care of your oral health.

Preventing dental emergencies

-Wear a mouthguard or other protective gear if you are active in contact sports or high impact recreational activities.
-Practice good oral hygiene every day, including brushing and flossing.
-Limit or avoid harmful foods like hard candy, ice, nuts, sugary sweets or acidic foods.
-See your dentist for routine professional cleanings and exams.
-Avoid harmful habits like using your teeth as tools (this includes nail biting, tearing open packages, etc.)

Despite all your preventative efforts, the unforeseen can still happen and you might need to get help. Your first response is to stay calm and assess the situation. Is it urgent? Do you need to go to the ER? A good rule of thumb is head over to the emergency room if you have pain or bleeding that is unbearable or isn’t stopping. If not, and it can wait to be seen by one of our caring dentists, your pocketbook may thank you. Our team can even help you determine if you should head to the ER, or we can schedule you into the office as soon as possible. Sometimes you can even help relieve the pain and resolve the problem yourself.

Home Help for Non-Emergency Conditions

-If you have any swelling in the mouth, you can make a salt water rinse to swish with to help with irritation and inflammation.
-If you have a knocked-out tooth, you’ll want to safeguard it either in the socket or in a container of milk and see our dentist as soon as possible.
-Sometimes pain around a tooth can because by lodged food near the gums or between the teeth. Flossing usually remedies this.
-If you have bleeding or swelling you can place a cold compress on the outside of the mouth for 5-10 minutes and apply pressure directly on the affected area with some moistened gauze or a cooled tea bag for 15 to 20 minutes.
-If you have irritation in the mouth, you can help remove bacteria by rinsing with hydrogen peroxide.

Urgent Dental Emergencies

You should go to your emergency room if you find yourself with painful swelling, an injured jaw, an adult tooth that has been partially or fully knocked out, if you have a severe toothache, or if you have an infected or abscessed tooth that results in swelling or severe pain along with fever.

Non-Emergency Conditions

These situations can typically wait to be seen by our dentist but do call us so that we can get you scheduled, and in the meantime, give you any tips you might need to remain comfortable. These can include having objects stuck between the teeth, having a lost filling, bridge, or crown restoration, a dull toothache, having a broken or chipped tooth, but that’s only as long as there’s no severe pain involved. You want to make sure bleeding does stop, so if it doesn’t you’ll likely need to go to the ER.

Drs. Jared Hill and Jerel Hill provide a range of services to meet your dental needs. If you need help with a dental emergency or have questions for our Hill Family Dental team in Orem, Utah, please call us at 801-225-7110 today.