Dental Emergencies can be a scary thing! Most emergency rooms here in Chicago do not have a dentist on hand to help with teeth problems. In a time of fear, most people will turn to the internet, which can only bring about panic. When you’re having a dental emergency, it could be one of several problems… and you’ll definitely need to go in to see a dentist! But in the meantime, here are the most common issues, and how to make yourself more comfortable with each of them.
If an area of your gums is red or purple, swollen, and bleeding, it can be very painful. There are two common reasons for this: either something got stuck under your gums, or there is plaque build up causing inflammation. If something got stuck under there, you’ll want to get it out. The first thought would be to floss, but that might end up just pushing it further down. We recommend using a waterpik or any water flosser to flush it out. You’ll find some extra relief if you dilute some Listerine in the tank. If it is plaque build up causing inflammation, try brushing well and massaging your gums with the bristles to stimulate bleeding. This way you know your toothbrush is actually getting under your swollen gum area to remove the plaque.
A Chipped Tooth
Whether you’ve been grinding your teeth for years, or bit down on a fork wrong, it can be incredibly jarring to have a front tooth chip. While there is no good fix at home- and I think we’ve all seen the DIY tooth repair fails on tiktok, we can prevent the chipped area from becoming sensitive and protect the tooth from more chipping off. We recommend using Sensodyne rapid relief to shield the exposed area from sensitivity. It soaks into the exposed pores of your teeth to seal them off. This way, fluctuations in temperature won’t bother you! To protect the teeth from more breaking off, we recommend purchasing a temporary soft night guard from the pharmacy. They don’t last long, and you’ll chew through it in a week or two, but it will keep your teeth separated at night so you can’t grind them together or put any pressure on them. These two products will keep your tooth safe until you are able to get in to your dentist.
A Filling Came Out
When a filling falls out of place, it feels like there is a giant hole in your tooth! The most important thing is to keep food out of that hole, and for that we recommend brushing and flossing after every meal. IF the floss isn’t able to get the food out completely, you can try a tool called a Proxabrush. It looks like a tiny pipe cleaner and you can stick it between your teeth to scrub out foods that get stuck there. Also, now that the filling is out, there is an exposed area of your tooth that might be sensitive to hot and cold. To help shield your tooth from temperatures, we recommend Sensodyne Rapid Relief toothpaste. It’ll help block the pores so that you don’t feel the temperature as strongly. These tips should keep your tooth is good shape until you’re able to see your dentist for a replacement filling.
A Crown Pops Off
When your crown pops off, it can be very scary. It suddenly feels like you’re missing a tooth! But not to worry, usually your dentist can simply bond it back on. As long as your tooth is intact and clean, it is a very simple process. So, the most important thing is to brush around the tooth and keep all food away. You can also purchase some temporary glue at the pharmacy to put the crown back in place for the meantime. It usually lasts a day or two and can get you through until you’re able to see your dentist again!
My Jaw is Swollen
This one is more serious than the others. Swelling can travel to your throat or your heartspace, so you want to get on antibiotics immediately. Call your dentist, or even your physician to get a prescription called in. MAke sure you take the entire prescribed amount (even when you start feeling better). Then go see a dentist ASAP to determine the cause. It could be a gum infection around wisdom teeth, or an abcess around an old root canal. Your dentist will need to examine you and probably take an x-ray to determine the cause and offer solutions.
We hope this helps you troubleshoot any issues that pop up at home and keep your smile safe until you can get in to your dentist!