The holidays are supposed to be filled with lots of fun and laughter. The last thing you want to deal with is a dental problem. However, you can't control when you experience dental problems, especially dental emergencies. Unfortunately, dental emergencies often bring unwanted pain and discomfort. Here are some steps you can take if you're faced with a dental emergency:
Loose Wires on Your Braces
If you wear braces, you need to pay close attention to the wires and brackets that are used to fasten them to your teeth. If a bracket fails, you can usually wait until you get home to have your dentist reattach it. However, loose or broken wires can be a different story. If you've got a loose wire, try to carefully reattach it to the bracket. If the wire will hold in place, you can hold off on a dental visit until normal office hours. However, if the wire is poking into your cheek or gums, and causing severe pain, you'll need to make an after-hours call to your dentist.
Abscesses on Your Gums
Abscesses are no laughing matter. If you're not sure what an abscess is, it's a swollen area on your gums that fills with pus. The pus inside the abscess is filled with bacteria that can make you very sick, especially if it gets into your bloodstream. The abscess can also cause damage to your teeth and gums. If you develop an abscess in your mouth, you need to treat it as an immediate dental emergency. Contact your dentist as soon as possible. If it's after-hours, and you can't get a hold of your dentist, visit your local emergency room or urgent care center.
Pain in Your Teeth
Toothaches are never fun, especially when they happen after your dentist's normal office hours. If you develop a toothache, try to reduce the pain with an over-the-counter pain reliever. You can also relieve the pain by applying warm compresses to your cheek, right over the affected area. If the pain doesn't go away, you probably have an infection that will require additional treatment. Go ahead and make an after-hours phone call to your dentist, or visit the urgent care center.
Lost or Damaged Teeth
You never want to lose or damage a tooth. Unfortunately, accidents can happen, especially during the holidays. An enthusiastic game of family football, or a popcorn ball that still have kernels in it, can wreak havoc on your teeth. If you've suffered an injury to your tooth, the first thing you need to do is check for bleeding. If your mouth is bleeding, use medical gauze to stop the bleeding. Next, rinse your mouth out with salt water and assess the damage. Finally, contact your local dentist office.