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3 Big Mistakes to avoid in a Dental Emergency


A dental emergency can be a really painful and disruptive event, often cropping up out of the blue (or so it may seem). Not knowing what to do in a dental emergency can cause further problems down the line and can even cost you a tooth. Tooth pain is always a sign that action is needed. In fact, not acting quickly or taking the wrong action can cause further damage to the tooth and can even lead to permanent tooth loss. So what do we mean when we talk about a dental emergency, what are common mistakes that people make when faced with tooth pain in Puyallup and why does it matter what you do when faced with a dental emergency? Read on to find the answers to these questions.


What is a dental emergency?

When we talk about a dental emergency, we generally mean:

  • Severe toothache - this can be a constant throbbing or a sharp pain that comes and goes. Tooth pain can also be accompanied by a high temperature or fever, swollen jaw or cheek or a visible abscess.   

  • A chipped or broken tooth - damage to your teeth can occur when eating, when playing sports or through an accidental injury, or just through general wear and tear. If you notice a chip in your tooth or are worried you have broken your tooth, this is a dental emergency. Ignoring it can have lasting consequences to the health of the tooth.

  • A crown, veneer or bridge falling off or breaking - the loss of any prosthetic covering the teeth can be a dental emergency and requires a dentist visit.
    A tooth knocked out completely - this can happen through accidental injury, such as a bad fall or a sports-related injury and in this case, prompt action is vital to being able to save a tooth.



What are the mistakes to avoid if you have a dental emergency?

Whilst many recognise the signs of a dental emergency, we can often be slow to act. There are three common mistakes many of us make when faced with tooth pain from a dental emergency:


1. Ignoring a dental emergency

Pain is your body’s natural mechanism of warning you that something is wrong. So when it comes to dental pain, why do many of us just ignore tooth pain? Often a quick solution, such as taking a painkiller, is chosen over visiting the dentist. This may be because of a person worrying about fitting in an appointment, a bad experience in the past or general dental phobias and anxiety. The problem is that painkillers will only ever mask the symptoms of tooth pain - they won’t address the underlying cause. The longer you avoid the situation, the worse it can become as the infection spreads or further damage is done to the tooth. Acting fast is really important when it comes to dental emergencies - contacting a dentist in Puyallup straight away and making an appointment can even save you time in the long run!




2. Taking a home remedy

The internet is packed full of home remedies for tooth pain - with everything from herbal remedies that can be made and applied at home to eating more of certain foods to quell toothache. However, tooth pain is often a sign of a dental emergency (or one developing) and at the very least is a sign that something isn’t right with your teeth or gums. So the only way to effectively deal with the problem is to visit your dentist in Puyallup, who can advise you on the best course of treatment.

Using home remedies can, in some cases, lessen the pain for a short time. But this can have a negative impact on the tooth long term, as not seeking treatment quickly can make the decay and infection spread.





3. Not handling a tooth correctly when knocked out

The most immediate dental emergency is when a tooth is completely knocked out. This can be a scary moment, as most of us may assume this means the tooth cannot be saved. However, an adult tooth that is knocked out can actually usually be saved by a dentist, if it is handled correctly immediately after. So what should you do when a tooth is knocked out? Firstly you should handle the tooth by the white part that sticks out normally and never by the root. Secondly, you should clean the tooth - either using saliva so licking the tooth, or running it under cold water for no longer than a few seconds. Thirdly, try and place the tooth back into the hole it has left. If the tooth doesn’t slot back in easily then you should place it in either saliva or milk.

If you have a tooth knocked out, whether you have put it back in or not, you should visit a dentist immediately. They can secure the tooth in place while it heals and make sure it has been placed back in correctly. You can turn up at South Hill Dental in Puyallup and we will see you immediately in this type of dental emergency.





Why is it important to take the right action in a dental emergency?

What you do in a dental emergency can have a lasting impact on the health of your teeth. If you ignore dental pain or trauma, the chances are you may need more extensive dental repair treatment and it may even compromise the life of the tooth.

Visiting a dentist in Puyallup when you have a dental emergency is vital because they have the specific training and experience to fully understand what is going on in your mouth and the best action to take. Whilst a dental emergency and severe tooth pain can be scary, visiting a dental clinic where they have the correct and tailored equipment to assess and treat the issue - such as x-ray machines, probes and scanners etc, you will get a clear diagnosis and fast treatment to avoid future issues. In addition, they are the best placed to advise you on pain management and may even prescribe a course of antibiotics to clear any infection. And finally, a dental clinic will also know how to repair your teeth using materials and techniques to ensure your mouth can regain stability and be healthy again.



How do you avoid a dental emergency in the first place?

Whilst some dental emergencies, such as a tooth being knocked out in a fall, are unavoidable, there are other dental emergencies that can be avoided with a good oral and dental health routine. Read this to find out more about how you can help guard against dental emergencies and tooth pain:


visit South Hill Dental if you need urgent treatment 

Posted on: Jul 23, 2019 11:33:00 AM

Posted in: Dentist in Puyallup, Dental Tips, Dental Emergency

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