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Dental Emergency: How To Prepare For and Prevent It

Dental Emergency

The adage that says prevention is better than cure cannot be truer in this case. Dental Emergency is something everyone should want to avoid due to the unpleasant conditions that come with it. But sometimes, situations out of our control can lead to dental emergency which a more prepared individual would be more likely to tackle efficiently.


Knowing these precautionary measures is a must if you choose to scale through a dental emergency without so much discomfort.

5 common dental emergencies and how to prepare for them

Preparing for Dental Emergencies

Toothache or Jaw Pain


Dealing with toothaches is very frustrating, especially for those who are caught unprepared; it can range from a mild to moderate to completely unbearable pain, so preparing for it is a must.

The sudden pain in the mouth comes from a wide range of possible causes and it may also be a symptom of tooth decay, so it is important to see a dentist to help pinpoint the actual cause.

What you should do:

  • Completely rinse your mouth with warm water.
  • Make sure your mouth is completely free of food particles by brushing your teeth and using dental floss.
  • If your mouth is swollen, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek. This will help to keep the swelling down.
  • Sometimes the pain can be too much to bear; just take a pain-killer to reduce the pain and give you relief.

Broken Jaw

Broken Jaw

This is the most serious dental emergency and should be treated as such. In severe cases, it can lead to major swelling and inability to close the mouth or align the teeth properly.

Although this type of dental emergency cannot be consciously avoided as it may be incurred from the playground, football games, or a simple activity, avoiding the things that could cause it is a sure way to prepare for this sort of dental emergency.

Broken/Chipped Tooth

Broken Tooth

This may be due to horseplay, eating very hard parts of food particles, etc

What you should do:

  • Rinse the mouth with warm water as this will help to remove any pieces of tooth still left in the mouth.
  • If you notice any bleeding, apply a piece of clean gauze to the area for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding recedes.
  • If your mouth is swollen, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek. This will help to keep the swelling down.
  • Call for an appointment with your dentist, to take a look at the tooth and prevent any chances of an infection.

Knocked-Out Teeth

From reckless activities to household mishaps to car accidents, a knocked-out tooth may seem hopeless, as you may already been planning on how to go about with a gap in your tooth for the rest of your life, but with some precautionary measures you can actually get that tooth re-attached.

What you should do:

  • Retrieve the knocked-out tooth and rinse it with cool water to clean it.
  • Avoid touching the root by holding it by the crown (the part that is usually exposed in the mouth) and rinse if dirty.
  • Avoid scrubbing and do not remove any attached tissue fragments.
  • Try to place the tooth back in the socket and hold a clean washcloth or piece of gauze over it. (This is not advisable with baby tooth as it can damage the child’s permanent tooth)
  • Make sure it’s facing the right way. Never force it into the socket.
  • If it is not possible to place the tooth into the socket, place it in a container with a tooth-preserving solution, a cup of water that contains a pinch of table salt, saliva or a small container with unflavored milk.
  • See your dentist immediately as the tooth has the highest chances of been saved if it is re-attached in 1 hour.

Tooth Decay


Tooth decay can be caused by bacteria and food particles, and the symptoms span across tooth sensitivity, toothache, discoloration and visible holes in your teeth among others. If left untreated it will eventually lead to a more serious problem.

Seeing your dentist is best measure to take during such situation.

4 Tips To Follow To Prevent a Dental Emergency

Preventing Dental Emergency

A dental emergency may be difficult to avoid, as it must surely happen at one time or the other, but that does mean we can’t reduce the chances of it happening.

These 4 tips are a sure way to reduce those chances: 

1. Protect Your Teeth

Most of the common dental emergencies come from rough play or other activities (either reckless or not). Protecting your teeth with mouthguard while carrying out such activites can help prevent those sorts of dental emergencies.

The same is advisable for children, and also child proofing the home and taking precautionary measures to ensure that hazards are distant from them.

2. Take Care of Your Teeth

Taking nutrients such as Calcium and Vitamin D which help in strengthening the bone and making it resistant to damage is advisable. Also keep to oral hygiene and avoid activities which will put your teeth at risk, such as opening bottles and eating hard food particles like bones.

3. Avoid Self Treatment / Medication

Self Treatment is highly disadvantageous. Using sharp metal instruments on your teeth or prying out stuck food on your own can cause more damage than good.

Also be careful during the use of pain killers as placing painkillers such as aspirin against the gums near the aching tooth may burn the gum tissue.

4. Go for Regular Checkup

The importance of regular check ups cannot be over emphasized, a dental emergency such as tooth decay might be mistaken for simple ache and without regular checkup it may be overlooked until it becomes more serious.

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