Accidents happen, and knowing what to do when faced with one can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth. Dental injuries are commonplace in today’s fast-paced world. Blows to the face or teeth can occur during auto accidents, falls, and a variety of sports, such as football, hockey, soccer, volleyball, basketball, and baseball. Teeth can easily be chipped, broken or knocked loose during these.
Most hospitals have oral surgeons on-staff who can treat fractures of the upper or lower jaw and perform emergency tooth removal (dental extractions) and reconstruction of the dental arches.
How Do Teeth Get Injured?
Wear and tear from cavities and chewing or biting down on hard objects, such as pencils, pens, ice cubes, nuts, and hard candies, can also cause tooth fractures. Dental injuries without head and neck trauma associated can usually be evaluated and treated in a dental office such as Levesque Family Dentistry in Nashua NH. Such dental injuries include broken teeth or fractured teeth, teeth knocked out or loose.
Sometimes these injuries include swelling of the gum and oral tissue. Cold packs or ice cubes placed inside the mouth or outside on the cheeks or lips near the injured area can reduce pain and swelling before the patient reaches the dentist.
What to Do in a Dental Emergency
Here are some tips for common dental emergencies:
- For a knocked-out permanent or adult tooth, keep the displaced tooth moist at all times. If possible, try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. If that is not possible, place the tooth between your cheek and gums, in milk, or use an ADA approved tooth preserving product. Then, see Drs. Keith or Adrian Levesque or Dr. Tara Vogel at Levesque Family Dentistry right away.
- For a cracked tooth, rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area immediately. Place cold compresses on the face to keep any swelling down.
- If you bite your tongue or lip, clean the area gently with water and apply a cold compress.
- In cases of toothache, rinse the mouth with warm water to clean it out. Use dental floss to gently remove any food caught between the teeth. Do not put aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues.
Preventing Dental Injuries
When you have a dental emergency, it’s important to visit Dr. Levesque or an emergency room as soon as possible.
Here are some simple steps you can take to avoid accidents and injuries to your teeth:
- When participating in sports or recreational activities always wear a mouthguard.
- Avoid chewing on hard foods that can crack teeth such as ice, popcorn kernels and hard candy.
- NEVER use your teeth to cut or open things.
Most dentists reserve time in their daily schedules for emergency patients. Call your dentist and provide as much detail as possible about your condition.
Emergency Dentistry in Nashua, NH
For more information on dental first aid or to schedule an examination in the Nashua NH area call (603) 547-9203 or schedule an appointment online to see Dr. Levesque and his team at Levesque Family Dentistry.