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What to do when you have a toothache?

Most dental emergencies can be prevented by regular dental checkups, good oral hygiene, and a healthy diet.  However accidents do happen and some sudden dental problems might not be preventable.  Here are a few tips on how to handle a dental emergency if it arises…


If a tooth gets knocked out

You should go see a dentist immediately.  Try to find the tooth and gently rinse it with water, do not scrub on the tooth root.  If you can, try to replace it in the mouth where it belongs.  If you cannot replace it in its original position and the tooth is relatively clean,  place the tooth in your mouth next to your cheek, but  be careful not to swallow it.  If the tooth is unsafe to put in your mouth, keep it in a glass of milk.  Now go see your dentist as soon as possible.

If your mouth or gums is bleeding from the trauma.  Rinse your mouth with the combination of a tsp of salt and  1-1.5 cup of warm water.  Put direct pressure on the wound or cut with clean gauze until the bleeding stops, usually 15 minutes.  If you cannot stop the bleeding go to the emergency room.


If you have a toothache…

Having a toothache is no fun, the pain can be debilitating.  There are many potential causes of a toothache, but the most common is when a cavity goes untreated and it invades into the nerve of the tooth.  Other causes includes infection in the tooth or gums, abscess, sinus infections, trauma to the teeth or gums, etc…  It’s best to see your dentist as soon as possible to obtain the correct diagnosis and treatment.

In the mean time, there are a few things you can do to help ease the pain of a toothache.

  1. Brush and Floss your teeth to remove any food particles in and between your teeth, use warm water if it is sensitive to cold.
  2. Take an over-the-counter pain medication like Tylenol or Ibuprofen as directed
  3. Apply a cold compress
  4. Avoid food and liquid that is cold, sweet, acidic, or hard to chew