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How to Handle a Dental Emergency

With the COVID-19 crisis across the nation upending our daily lives, the stress level is high in many Americans. Stress puts a lot of extra pressure on your teeth, leading to an increased likelihood of a dental emergency. So what should you do if you find yourself experiencing one? Dr. Greg Reece of Dentistry of the Queen City, a dentist in Charlotte, NC, offers some answers.charlotte, north carolina dentist

Taking On a Dental Emergency

If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, the first thing you should do is call us immediately. We want to get you seen in the office as soon as possible. Below is a list of common dental emergencies and how you can help until you’re seen in the office.

Severe Tooth Pain

When you experience tooth pain, it isn’t something you should ignore. This is particularly true if it’s a very sharp pain or comes on suddenly. Tooth pain can be caused by a number of conditions. These include trauma, extreme tooth decay, an abscess, or an infection. In many instances, the cause can’t be determined until a dentist examines it. Use over the counter pain medication to ease pain and a cold compress if there’s any swelling.

Knocked-Out Tooth

Try to remember to not panic if an adult tooth gets knocked out. Try to retrieve the tooth, avoiding touching the tooth root, and only picking it up by the crown. Gently rinse off any dirt that may be on the tooth, but don’t scrub. Place the tooth in a cup of milk or your own saliva to help preserve it. Never attempt to put the tooth back in the socket on your own.

When you come to your appointment, make sure you bring the tooth with you. Dr. Reece will examine it and see if it’s still viable for replacement. If it isn’t, you don’t have to worry too much. Our office has multiple methods to replace missing teeth. In particular, we recommend dental implants. They both feel and look the most natural in your mouth while offering stability other restorations can’t.

Broken, Chipped, or Cracked Tooth

Ideally, a chipped tooth is only a cosmetic issue that’s easily fixed. However, it’s when it goes beyond that that it becomes an emergency. A large break or chip can expose the tooth pulp and nerves, causing a lot of pain. Avoid touching or putting anything on the damaged part of the tooth. Use over the counter pain medication and a cold compress for pain and swelling.

If your tooth is cracked, it can make it easy for bacteria to get inside the pulp of your tooth. When the tooth pulp gets infected, that’s what leads to the need for a root canal or even a tooth extraction. Do the same thing as with a broken or chipped tooth. Never try to glue the tooth back together or use any other technique to attempt to fix it.

Your Dentist in Charlotte, North Carolina

Dr. Reece and the rest of our staff are here to help you if stress has put a strain on your teeth. Call us or schedule an appointment online!