We tend to take a healthy mouth for granted until something goes wrong, but unfortunately, unless you look after your dental health, it’s likely that you will require emergency dental care at some point. If you have ever experienced a dental emergency or severe tooth pain, you’ll know it can be extremely upsetting and even a little frightening, and especially if you have a young child who is in pain. One way you can help to prevent dental emergencies is by becoming better informed. When you know the type of symptoms to look for, and when to seek emergency care, it’s a lot less frightening, and you’ll cope far better.
Frequently, dental emergencies can be avoided with a regular routine of preventative oral care, but all too often, a hectic life can get in the way! Many people struggle to see the dentist regularly, and especially moms with young families who are busy juggling their kids’ schedules with their own, so dental appointments take a backseat. A dental emergency can make things even worse, throwing plans out of whack, creating new chaos and stress for a family.
Unfortunately, busy moms will often focus entirely on their family’s health and wellbeing neglecting their own. If you are a mom and this sounds familiar, consider the fact that dental emergencies can cost much more money than regular preventative dental care. Also, the treatments required are frequently longer and could be even harder to fit into everyday life. The time spent searching online for home remedies for toothache could be better spent seeing your dentist sooner. The good news is that often some dental emergencies are preventable, and it is simply a matter of knowing the signs and symptoms and being aware of how to look after your oral health.
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For example, a nagging toothache could be a sign that you have a cavity, or that a filling is leaking or crumbling. Tooth pain is always a signal that something is wrong, but if it disappears, it may be tempting to ignore it. Please don’t, as a severe tooth infection can sometimes kill the tooth nerve, so it seems as if the infection has disappeared when this is impossible without professional dental care. The sooner you see a dentist, the more likely your tooth can be saved.
Also, be aware of any changes to your gums or your oral tissues which are the inside of your cheeks and lips, the roof and floor of your mouth and your tongue. Any injuries, mouth sores or a mouth ulcer that fails to heal properly require professional investigation.
Make sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day. It’s better to brush your teeth as soon as you get up in the morning and last thing at night.
When you brush your teeth, brush them for at least two minutes as this will allow adequate time to ensure every tooth surface is cleaned thoroughly.
Electric toothbrushes are great because they have built-in timers, but if you use a manual brush keep a small timer in the bathroom or use your smartphone.
Usually every two or three months or more frequently if it begins to look worn or splayed.
Electric toothbrush heads usually have built-in wear indicators, so it’s easy to see when it’s time to ditch your toothbrush.
If your toothbrush is worn, it will not clean your teeth effectively, and it’s a false economy as a new brush or brush head only costs a few dollars.
and dental floss is a traditional and straightforward way to clean in between your teeth, but otherwise, try interdental brushes or soft picks, or purchase a Waterpik.
Failing to regularly floss leaves approximately one-third of your tooth surfaces uncleaned and greatly increases your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Dentists can always tell who flosses regularly and who doesn’t! If you find it tricky to clean in between your teeth, ask your dentist or hygienist for help and advice.
and look at the times you enjoy sugary treats. When you frequently snack on sugary foods, it increases acidity in your mouth.
This is because bacteria naturally present in the mouth use these sugars for energy, producing a weak acid as a by-product. The acid attacks your tooth enamel, weakening it by removing some essential minerals.
Repeated acid attacks will cause more damage to your tooth enamel, eventually resulting in cavities. It takes half an hour to an hour after eating for pH levels to normalize. Instead of snacking on sweet treats, include them as part of your main meal as your mouth, reducing the amount of time your mouth is acidic and the potential damage to your teeth.
and that you attend all recall appointments. To make this easier, check your dental office is close to home or work and has hours that will fit in with your work/life schedule.
Also, check it has plenty of parking or is close to public transport. The easier it is for you to visit your dentist, the more likely you are to attend.
and make sure your children wear mouthguards too. Every year, dentists see many dental injuries caused by contact and some non-contact sports.
If there’s a risk you could take a blow to the mouth while playing sports, it’s worth wearing a mouthguard! Dental injuries can cause chips or cracks, or in the worst case can knock out teeth. The cost of restorative dental treatment can run into thousands of dollars over a lifetime.
A custom-made, sports mouthguard provides the ultimate protection for your teeth, reducing your risk of dental injuries. It’s comfortable to wear and doesn’t obstruct breathing.
This is a widespread problem, and you’ll find most dental offices are extremely sympathetic and welcoming and can help you overcome these issues.
Make sure your dental office is oriented toward providing more care for nervous patients as they will talk to you to discover the reason for your fears.
Any dental treatment needed can be given at a pace you feel comfortable. Also, some people find it useful to explore relaxation or meditation techniques before appointments.
Good dental care should start early, as the sooner a child becomes accustomed to seeing the dentist, the less likely they are to develop fears and phobias. Excellent ongoing dental care can prevent childhood tooth decay.
Your child’s dentist will most likely recommend other treatments to protect young teeth and which include fluoride varnish to harden and strengthen tooth enamel.
Dental sealants are a wonderful treatment for protecting the chewing surfaces of adult back teeth. These surfaces are particularly vulnerable to tooth decay, and dental sealants are best applied soon after they emerge.
When a damaged tooth isn’t repaired, it can let in disease-causing bacteria that will create infection and decay. Ignoring the problem increases the likelihood that you will need more extensive treatment like root canal therapy, or it may even be necessary to remove the tooth entirely.
A chipped tooth repair is far cheaper and quicker and avoids unnecessary tooth pain. The same applies if you lose a filling, as it is easily replaced by your dentist.
This may seem elementary, but lots of people don’t drink enough water. Your body needs plenty of water so it can produce enough saliva to maintain oral health.
Saliva is a protective fluid that helps your mouth to maintain a more neutral pH, and it washes away excess food particles, old skin cells, and bacteria. Also, saliva contains specific minerals that help to protect your teeth, reducing your risk of tooth decay.
|SYMPTOM||WHAT IT COULD MEAN||POTENTIAL DENTAL EMERGENCY||HOW TO STOP IT|
|Swollen and sensitive gums||Gum disease||Abscess Periodontal infection||Visit your dentist ASAP|
|Toothache||Tooth decay/gum disease||Abscess Periodontal infection||Gently floss around the tooth to remove impacted food. Rinse with warm salt water. See your dentist ASAP.|
|Sensitivity to heat / cold||Tooth decay/gum disease||Tooth infection or abscess||Use toothpaste for sensitive teeth but see your dentist to check for gum recession and tooth decay problems.|
|Loose Teeth||Tooth loss, severe gum disease, fractured tooth||Periodontal infection or a dental injury that loosens or knocks out a tooth||A dental injury like a knocked out tooth needs emergency dental care. A periodontal infection requires urgent dental care.|
|Persistent bad breath||Gum disease or tooth decay||Tooth infection or dental abscess||See your dentist for dental treatment. If they cannot find a reason, you may need to see your doctor in case it is due to an underlying health problem.|
|Sleep apnea and snoring||Obstructed airway during sleep||Sleep apnea can cause excessive daytime sleepiness and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke||A dentist can address mild to moderate sleep apnea with a custom-made night splint.|
|Mouth sores or mouth ulcer||Infection or virus||Severe mouth pain||Use over-the-counter topical treatments or a warm salt rinse. See the dentist if mouth sores or ulcers fail to heal within 2-3 weeks.|
|Jaw pain that can also affect the cheekbones, chin or temples||TMD or bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching)||Jaw pain caused by bruxism and TMD can inflame the jaw joints and wear down teeth, sometimes causing chronic headaches||See your dentist for a proper diagnosis. Bruxism and TMD are often treated with a custom-made night guard.|
|Bleeding gums||Gum disease or tooth infection||Tooth loss Abscess||Healthy gums don’t bleed. See your dentist ASAP|
|Chipped teeth||Tooth sensitivity||Tooth infection Tooth decay||See your dentist for a chipped tooth repair. Even a tiny chip can let in bacteria.|
|Temporary sinus pain||Cold or sinus infection||Sinus pain can feel like toothache because the pressure in the sinus cavities can press on your teeth||See your doctor in case your sinus pain needs antibiotics.|
|Back teeth pain||Infection or an impacted wisdom tooth||Back teeth can develop cavities, but pain can also be caused by impacted, or decayed wisdom teeth/td>||See your dentist and especially if you still have your wisdom teeth or they have yet to erupt.|