April 24, 2019
Part of enjoying good dental health includes knowing how to distinguish a routine problem from a true dental emergency in Falls Church. Three telltale signs of a major concern are the presence of severe pain, infection, or a loose or missing tooth. Knowing how to treat these conditions until obtaining professional help can make all the difference in the world to the final outcome.
Three Warning Signs to Never Ignore
Seek professional dental care right away if you notice any of these problems:
- Toothache accompanied by severe pain: this is an indication that the underlying problem has reached an advanced stage
- Infection and/or swelling: This is a sign that the infection is spreading into the surrounding tissues. Immediate care is essential to prevent tooth loss or other severe consequences.
- A tooth that is loose or missing altogether: this can be the result of physical impact, chronic infection, or both.
Tips for Dealing with a Dental Emergency
Dealing with a dental emergency involves managing any discomfort the affected person may feel until It’s possible to obtain professional help. Important steps to take include:
- Applying cold to the wound site: this will reduce discomfort while minimizing swelling. You can use an instant cold pack or something as simple as a package of frozen vegetables. To avoid frostbite, you should never apply ice directly to human tissue.
- Administering over-the-counter pain relievers to the victim: ibuprofen and acetaminophen are good choices, unless the patient is allergic to either medication. Both relieve discomfort while providing anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Preserving a dislodged tooth (if applicable): missing teeth can often be reinserted by an emergency dentist in Falls Church. It’s important to keep the tooth moist in the meantime, preferably in a small container of milk. You can also use water or a purpose-made dental solution that’s available online and from many pharmacies.
Emergency Dental Supplies to Keep on Hand
A dental first aid kit is an essential part of any well-prepared household. You’ll find ready-made kits online and at your local drugstore. You can also create your own. It should contain the following items:
- A small mirror: this is used to see into the affected person’s mouth.
- A flashlight: this is a handy item to have in your kit alongside the mirror.
- Pain reliever: over-the-counter only. You should never administer prescription medications without express medical approval.
- Clove oil: useful for relieving toothache pain. You can substitute a product such as Orajel® if you prefer.
- Latex gloves: important as a precautionary item for examining the patient’s mouth.
- A small leakproof container: this can be used for preserving a dislodged tooth until reinsertion.
- Emergency contact information: this should include the phone number, website, and address of your local emergency dentist. It’s important to have this information both in written form and on an electronic device.
Dental emergencies can happen any time anywhere. Knowing what to do if they occur can not only prevent needless suffering, it can help the victim to enjoy a more fruitful recovery. You’ll feel good knowing that you’ve done something positive to protect yourself and those you care about.
About the Author
Dr. Sanae Berrada has been practicing dentistry for more than 20 years. She combines proven expertise with a warm and caring approach that makes her a hit with her patients. You can reach her office online or by calling (703) 821-8111.
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