Advice for dental emergency

Have you experienced a dental emergency?

The dental emergencies described within this section usually require quick attention, either to save your natural teeth or to prevent further damage. Generally these emergencies happen when we are least expecting them.
Stay calm and call our office, phone 03 366 1948.
If we are closed we will provide an emergency number to call or follow these simple steps. Generally however do not ever place Aspirin or Disprin directly on a sore gum or tooth as serious burns will occur.

Knocked-Out, Broken Tooth

In most case where the tooth is broken (chipped or knocked out from the gum tissue), it is important to rinse and gently clean out any debris from the affected area and the tooth.

If possible hold the tooth in its socket, if not possible place it in a container of milk or cold water and get to dental or medical help within 30 minutes.

Trapped Object Between Teeth

An object trapped between teeth can be painful as well as difficult to remove. Avoid using sharp objects that may damage gum tissue. Instead, try removing the object by guiding dental floss with a small knot tied in it, carefully through the area. Make an appointment to see us urgentlyif you are unsuccessful in removing the object.

For pain relief try using Panadeine, or Panadol.

Remember to follow the recommended dosage as prescibed by a chemist or on the packet. Generally however do not ever place Aspirin or Disprin directly on a sore gum or tooth as serious burns will occur.

Sharp Pains in Teeth

Sensitive teeth can sometimes be an indication of a larger dental problem. The pain can be constant or come on very suddenly.

Here is our advice for these painful emergency situations.

  • If you feel a very sharp pain when biting down on food, this may indicate either a decaying tooth with a possibly damaged pulp.
  • A small drop of oil of cloves in the cavity may help the pain.
  • If the tooth is intact it may indicate a seriously cracked cusp or tooth.
  • A cracked cusp which has not yet broken from a molar or premolar tooth can provide sharp pains occasionally when biting on a hard object. These teeth most often need treating with overlays or crowns to replace or protect the structural cracks in the tooth.
  • Either way it is best to come in and see us.
  • Additional pain relief may be achieved with Panadeine or a paracetamol-based pain reliever. Remember to follow the recommended dosage as prescibed by a chemist. Generally however do not ever place Aspirin or Disprin directly on a sore gum or tooth as serious burns will occur.

Sensitive Gum Margins

If your teeth are extremely sensitive to touch at the gum margin you may have exposed the teeth to a lot of acid in your diet, and you may have also brushed a groove into the neck of the tooth. Avoid fruit and acid foods and request an evaluation by the Dentist.

Over-the-counter analgaesics may help alleviate the pain until you can get in and see us. If you cannot get around to seeing us immediately try using a softer toothbrush and a specially formulated desensitising toothpaste such as Sensodyne, available from the Pharmacy.

An appointment with our Hygienist to check cleaning technique and the application of desensitising medications will be a big help with this problem.

Swollen Gum Or Gum Boil

A painful swollen gum which is red, puffy and shiny may be the result of a dental or gum abscess.

  • Try and get drainage by way of hot salt water mouthwashes, pressure, or a hot wad of gauze. (Take care not to burn yourself.)
  • Use routine type pain relievers such as Panadeine etc. until you can get to see us.
  • Generally however do not ever place Aspirin or Disprin directly on a sore gum or tooth as serious burns will occur.

Painful Headaches

Sinus headaches can sometimes manifest into dull aches in the upper teeth and jaw. Because the teeth may “overerrupt” in this condition they may hit together on the lower teeth prematurely and this aggrevates the situation.

  • Try not to clench the teeth.
  • Use a sinus relieving pharmacy medicine and contact us soon as possible.
  • Sometimes pulp damaged teeth cause pain in other areas of the head, neck or ear. We will evaluate with the help of Xrays and decide the best course of action.
  • Heavy clenching and tooth grinding can sometimes result in tooth pain and headaches. There are remedies for this which might involve wearing a bite splint or night guard, made from a hard clear acrylic resin.

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