Dental injuries happen more often than you think and can happen to anyone. While trauma to the face can cause an injury, it’s also possible to injure teeth in normal daily activities. Many dentists like Dr. Nicholas F. Gardner in Gouverneur, NY keep appointments open for dental emergencies, but there are some important steps to take to minimize problems before you can get to the dentist.
How Can Teeth Get Hurt?
Teeth are strong, but injuries can happen anywhere. There are several ways teeth can potentially get injured. Serious trauma to the face can result in a dental injury, such as an impact to the face in a sports injury or a serious fall. These injuries usually need immediate medical treatment in a hospital or clinic.
Significant trauma isn’t the only way teeth get injured. Teeth can become fractured, cracked, or even knocked out from cavities and tooth decay, or chewing or biting on hard objects such as pencils, pens, or hard food items. Most injuries like this that are not associated with head or neck trauma can be treated in our office instead of a hospital, but you should always seek immediate treatment.
What to Do in a Dental Emergency
Dental injuries are common, so don’t panic if you’re experiencing a dental problem that needs attention. Call your dentist as soon as possible if you think you need immediate attention, or if the injury is severe, go to the nearest emergency room.
- Swelling of the gums and oral tissue can occur with dental injuries. Applying ice or a cold pack on the cheeks or lips or even inside the mouth can help reduce swelling and pain before you get to the dentist.
- If a permanent tooth has been knocked out, keep the displaced tooth moist at all times. Try to replace the tooth back into the socket without touching the root, or place the tooth in milk or a tooth-preserving product approved by the ADA. See a dentist as soon as possible.
- For cracked teeth, rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling.
- If you have bitten your tongue or lip during the injury, gently clean the area with water and apply a cold compress.
- For toothaches, flush the area with warm water and use dental floss to remove any food caught between the teeth. Do not apply aspirin to the gum or the tooth itself.
Avoiding Dental Injuries
- Never try to open things with your teeth.
- Avoid hard foods that can crack your teeth such as hard candy and ice, and never chew on non-food items like pen caps or pencils.
- Always wear a protective mouth guard when playing sports.
Emergency Dentist in Gouverneur NY
Most dentists keep openings in their schedule for dental emergencies, and Dr. Gardner is available in Gouverneur, NY for dental emergencies. For more information on dental first aid or to schedule a visit with Dr. Gardner, call (315) 203-1772.