The past few years have seen a steady increase of people finding themselves in the ER due to dental problems. While this is usually an issue that’s easily forgotten, statistics indicate that a vast majority of Americans sideline their oral health until it’s too late and emergency care is inevitable.
These dental emergencies could range from lacerated gums to cracked or fractured teeth and also lost crowns or fillings. Often it is the excruciating pain that drives people to the emergency ward, but an emergency dentist in Philadelphia notes that many of these unfortunate circumstances can be avoided.
The first defense against these scenarios has always been prevention. Maintaining proper oral care and periodic visits to your regular dentist will go a long way in avoiding a session with an emergency dentist. However, in cases of severe oral trauma, it is advisable to visit the dental office ASAP. For the more common dental problems, here’s what you can do prior to seeking professional help:
Toothaches – Rinse your mouth with warm water and floss to remove any food remnants. If the mouth is showing signs of swelling, place a cold compress on the outside. Endeavor not to place any analgesic against your gums as a soothing measure for the aching tooth as it could burn out the gum tissue.
Lost Filling – For temporary relief, replace the lost filling with a piece of sugarless gum. This should work well in protecting the hole in your teeth against exposure, now that the filling has left a void in it.
Soft tissue injuries – These include trauma to the gums, tongue, lips and cheek, which could result in profuse bleeding. The first step would be to control that bleeding to prevent further blood loss and lessen the risk of infections. Rinse with a mild salt-water ratio solution and apply pressure to the affected area with a piece of gauze or a teabag.
Typically, any emergency like a broken tooth or an infected soft tissue can be potentially fatal and should never be ignored. Some infections, if left untreated, could escalate and affect other regions within the cranial cavity, for example, the brain.
In cases of dental emergencies in Philadelphia, be sure to contact experienced dental practices like Dr. Gerald Regni, DMD, who employ a holistic approach to their practice so they can determine the extent to which the dental problem may have affected other areas of your body.
ER visits for dental problems on the rise. USA Today June 29, 2015
A Killer Toothache: How U.S. Dental Care Became a National Emergency. Huffington Post
Handling Dental Emergencies. Web MD
Emergency Care. School of Dental Medicine University of Pittsburgh