The human mouth. It’s normal for us not to think about it, despite how much we rely on it every day. We can get energy—and pleasure—from food, plus our mouth and teeth affect how we communicate our surroundings. We can even express our inner feelings with a kiss or by smiling or singing. Moreover, our mouth is a window to our overall health. It can reveal signs of nutritional deficiencies or infections, including problems in systems you probably had no idea showed symptoms in the mouth!
Due to the variety of functions a mouth performs every day, accidents do happen. In every case, the first thing that comes to mind (after freaking out just a little) is probably to turn to Google for answers on how to fix the problem, and fix it fast.
However, most websites are not managed by medical professionals. And as a result, a quick Google search can lead to panic. For example, many common symptoms of everyday tooth ailments are also associated with other more severe diseases, and Google will serve you with results based on its internal ranking system—and not your problem.
Google is no doctor. A simple example would be if you googled “chest pains” or “headache,” you could get results ranging from muscle pains or hangovers to heart attacks or a brain tumor!
When we experience oral issues or traumas, sometimes we are in need of immediate treatment or advice. So, what to do if the internet can’t help?
Have you ever thought of how awesome it would be for a technology to exist that could examine your symptoms and tell you what to do? Well, in the near future, you’ll probably experience such technology. Until this transition happens, though, this article will be your superhero dental guide for common teeth-related accidents. Let’s examine some expert solutions to common mouth issues and traumas!
Severe bleeding after trauma to your face or mouth
Short answer: Call your doctor or seek emergency care immediately.
All John thinks about is baseball. While playing his favorite game with his buddies, Jack—the best hitter in the team—hit a ball which accidentally landed on John’s face (ouch)! John experienced severe bleeding after this trauma. Here is what John or you have to do after having a similar accident:
Check your tongue, cheek, and lips to see if it is just a soft tissue injury. If this is the case, wash your mouth with salty water, and apply gauze to the affected area for 5-10 minutes. If bleeding continues, call your dentist or seek emergency care.
If you have an actual traumatic injury like a broken jaw, you will experience severe bleeding, pain and difficulty breathing. In such scenarios, seek emergency care immediately.
Knocking out a tooth
Short answer: Good news, you can still save your knocked out tooth if you act fast!
If you’re like Melissa, you love doing activities in your free time. Melissa loves keeping herself fit by doing karate. However, on her last sparring session, one of Melissa’s front teeth was been knocked right out! There’s good news for Melissa, though, because the tooth can still be saved.
When a tooth has been knocked out, it results in damage to the nerves, blood vessels and supporting tissues, too. However, it can still be saved if you act fast and are careful with the tooth. This means:
- Don’t touch the root! Touching it will result in further damage. Instead, hold the tooth by the crown.
- Wash your tooth with water if it appears to be dirty.
- Try to place the tooth back in your mouth in its socket. Make sure it is facing the right direction. If your tooth doesn’t slide in its socket, don’t force it.
- If the tooth can’t go back in its socket, place it in a cup of milk or saliva to keep it moist.
And most importantly, go to the dentist as soon as possible. Knocked out teeth can be saved if they return to their socket in less than an hour.
Chipping or breaking a tooth
Short answer: Don’t panic! Stop the bleeding and see your dentist as soon as possible.
Chipped teeth are very common, especially among children. The same applies for Mary, a four–year–old girl who lives life to the fullest. Mary just can’t sit still. During her discovery expedition in the living room, Mary hit her face in the furniture, resulting in a piece of a tooth chipping off.
If you’re ever in the same position as Mary, don’t panic. And when this happens to your child, he or she is probably alarmed by the incident, and you should stay calm in order for your child to stay calm as well. Of your child is bleeding, try to stop the bleeding with pressure and gauze. Finally, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to decide on a treatment option.
The killer toothache
Short answer: Alleviate the pain with painkillers or ice, and see a doctor if your toothache lasts for more than two days.
A toothache can be an unpleasant and painful experience. A fictional character is not necessary here, because more or less, all of us have experienced a toothache! A toothache can occur for a lot of different reasons, including:
- Damaged or lost fillings
- Fractured tooth
- Abscessed tooth
According to the National Health Society of the UK, if your toothache lasts more than two days and does not go away when you take painkillers, you should see your dentist as soon as possible. The same applies when you have pain when you bite, swollen or red gums, a bad taste in your mouth, or a swollen cheek or jaw.
In the meantime, here are some tips to ease the pain:
- Take painkillers, like ibuprofen or paracetamol (children under 16 shouldn’t take aspirin unless otherwise advised by your pediatrician)
- Rinse your mouth with warm, salty water
- Use an ice pack compress on the side of your mouth experiencing pain
- Eat soft foods like yogurt and avoid chewing with the sore tooth
In case your toothache is the result of a lost crown or filling, you can ease the pain by applying a little clove oil to the sensitive area with a cotton swab. In addition, try to find the lost crown and keep it somewhere safe and clean until you see your dentist. Another thing that could help is placing dental cement on the tooth surface to seal it and protect it. Dental cement can be found in pharmacies.
But remember, all these recommendations are for temporary relief! If you have any of these accidents befall you or a family member, call our office immediately.