Most 911 emergency dental cases are due to injuries that are the direct result of an accident or sport injuries. Traumatic injuries to the face and head area are common during accidents especially during vehicular accidents. Sports injuries are easily prevented by wearing proper gear like helmets, and/or a mouth piece. However, tooth loss is sometimes unavoidable in contact sports.
Accidents in the home involving children are fairly common. Teeth and mouth injury involving children due to falls are common 911 Dental Emergencies which occur daily. Major bleeding due to tooth loss is a major complication as the teeth and mouth area contain large amounts of blood vessels. Injury to tissues or tooth loss may cause serious blood loss and require immediate dental care and treatment.
Dental specialists recommend that each family have a Dental First-Aid kit either at home, in the car, or even at school. This may not stop a dental emergency, but provides basic treatment as the patient until a medic arrives.
Below is a simple guide on things to be done during 911 Dental Emergencies:
Pain killers should only be taken when Dental pain becomes unbearable. There are a lot of useful over the counter pain relievers available, but don’t self medicate. Consulting with a doctor or dentist should always be a priority before taking any sort of drug or medication. Pain killers such as aspirin should be avoided as these could lead to increased bleeding. Blood loss is a major complication of teeth or mouth injury and one of the leading causes of 911 dental emergencies.
Rinsing your mouth or gargling with warm water is one of the first things to do during toothaches. This is done to remove food which may be irritating your teeth or gums. Applying an ice pack over the affected area where dental pain is felt also helps reduce pain and inflammation without the need of using drugs or medications.
Only your own orthodontist can touch your braces. Therefore, you should see your dentist right away. Sometimes, the damaged brace must be fixed immediately. Do not attempt to fix them by yourself or try pulling the wire off.
Cankers or Mouth Sores
These are the white wounds that can be found inside the mouth. They can be either on the cheek, gums, or tongue. It can be caused by accidentally biting the cheek, too much brushing, burned by eating hot foods, and sometimes due to the braces or dentures.
Lodged Object between the Teeth
You can try to remove the object as carefully as you can by using a dental floss. To remove any remaining particles, rinse the mouth thoroughly with water. Just remember that you must not use any sharp or pointed instruments when dislodging the object because this only increases your chances of injury. If you cannot take it off from the teeth, immediately consult with your dentist.
Broken or Cracked Tooth
Rinse your mouth with a glass of warm water then immediately call your dentist. Locate for any red spot on the broken tooth because this is a sign that a nerve is exposed. If this goes undetected, infection can occur. The dentist will usually do an X-ray to identify the extent of the damage. Once it is identified, tooth bonding, root canal, or tooth removal usually takes place.
Avulsion of Tooth
This is one of the more serious types of dental emergencies. You should not delay treatment for this when you encounter one. If you find the tooth, place it in a container or in a cup of milk to preserve it. Danger with tooth avulsions is that they may cause uncontrolled bleeding. This type of injury requires immediate dental treatment.
Bitten Lip or Tongue
Emergency dental action involves placing a piece of clean cloth over the affected area. Or better yet, when you have the dental first-aid kit, apply direct pressure on the area using sterile gauze. Lessen the bleeding and clean the wound by rinsing the area with an oral cleanser. Finally, apply an ice pack over the area to reduce pain and bleeding.
Some dental emergencies can cause permanent damage when not treated immediately. Other major complications such as severe bleeding are also life threatening. Being prepared for dental emergencies and having a simple working knowledge in dental care and treatment could prove valuable during 911 dental emergencies.