When a Dental Emergency Strikes During the Holidays

You’ve just chomped down on a candy cane or nut and you suddenly feel searing pain in your mouth – you’ve broken a tooth!

But it’s Christmas Eve. You’re regular dentist has closed his office for the holidays. What do you do?

Read below for some tips on how to handle a dental emergency during the holidays.

If you chip or break a tooth, save any pieces you can. Rinse your mouth in warm water and also rinse any of the broken pieces of tooth.

If you’re bleeding, take a piece of clean gauze and hold it to the area for about 10 minutes (or until the bleeding has stopped). Then apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth, lip or cheek near the tooth you broke/chipped (this helps keeps swelling down and also relieves pain). See if you can find an emergency dentist. If not available, and you’re in pain, take some Tylenol or Advil. Hang in there.

Should you lose a filling, take a piece of sugarless chewing gum and stick it into the cavity. You also can use dental cement sold over the counter

Have something stuck between your teeth? See if flossing will dislodge it. If that doesn’t work, wait until you can see your dentist. Don’t use another sharp object or pin to poke at it because such sharp objects can scratch your tooth’s surface and/or cut your gums.

If a tooth is partially dislodged, see if you can find an emergency dentist. As you wait, to relieve pain, place a cold compress on the outside of your mouth/cheek. Take aspirin as needed for pain.

An abscess is an infection that can occur in the space between gums and teeth or around a tooth’s root. These can be very serious because if left untreated an abscess can damage teeth and tissue. The infection also can spread to other parts of the body.

If you discover an abscess (you’ll notice a small – about the size of a pimple – swelling on your gum that is painful to the touch), you should find an emergency dentist ASAP. If necessary, head to the emergency room at your local hospital. As you wait, rinse your mouth with eight ounces of warm water to which you add 1/2 teaspoon of table salt. This helps ease the pain and also helps in bringing the pus to the surface. Rinse several times a day.

Whether mentioned specifically for each emergency situation above or not, you should get to a dentist as soon as you can.

If you have a dental emergency, contact the office of Plano dentist Dr. Darren Dickson by phone to schedule an immediate appointment. You also can send us an e-mail message at [email protected],

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