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Anticipating and Responsing to Tooth Damage and Other Dental Emergencies

Tooth damage is one of the most common forms of a dental emergency. An adequate first aid response can play a key role in mitigating the damage it creates and increases the likelihood of a positive outcome by the time the patient reaches the dentist.

Whether it involves a sports accident while playing flag football or hockey or an unfortunate incident involving food that was simply too bite through, dental accidents are no laughing matter. Chipping, shattering, or losing a tooth is just one of the many types of dental emergency, and one that must be addressed quickly.

Dental emergencies can come unexpectedly to many people. They are not just unbearably painful; they could lead to complications if not appropriately addressed promptly: the longer that a dental emergency is unaddressed, the likelihood of permanent damage increases. To satisfy the need for emergency dental care, people in Meridian and across Idaho should have the number of a skilled dentist on hand in just in case.

The associated pain involved in dental emergencies is often sufficient reason to see a dentist immediately. Meanwhile, individuals can take these first aid steps to reduce the severity of the pain and reducing the likelihood of complications involved while on route to the dentist.


Dental emergencies are largely unpredictable, but the risks for it might be higher for some people more than others. People who play contact sports, for instance, are often under a higher risk of potential tooth damage. Having a few emergency supplies such as gauze, topical anesthetic, an ice pack, and over-the-counter painkillers available can go a long way in managing the initial stages of a dental emergency. One should also have the dentist’s number listed down.

Not every dental emergency has the same time window. Some painful emergencies can be given stop-gap solutions to alleviate many of the major symptoms until a dentist’s appointment in regular hours can be arranged, whereas others require immediate attention. Teeth that are chipped or broken can usually wait a day before being addressed unless the shattering is severe, whereas a tooth that has been extruded or fully removed must immediately be addressed within hours.

When in doubt, call a dentist immediately.

Early Response

Dental check up

The right response to dental emergencies can mean a world of difference for the affected teeth. For broken or dislodged teeth, as many of the fragments of the original tooth should be gathered and cleaned. The sooner that the affected tooth or tooth fragments are brought to the dentist, the greater the odds are that it can be salvaged.

Bleeding should be addressed by applying a gauze over the affected region. The gauze should be replaced periodically as it fills with blood. This should continue until the bleeding stops. The patient is advised not to gargle, as it may cause the recently formed blood clot to dislodge.

Pain in the affected region of a chipped or broken tooth can be alleviated with a topical anesthetic or with a small, carefully applied dab of clove oil. Pain in the general region can also be relieved through the application of a cold compress or taking an over-the-counter painkiller like ibuprofen once the bleeding and pain have subsided.

Slowly rinsing the mouth after meals are important to ensure that no food particles accrue in the affected areas; this will prevent the onset of further infection. A wad of sugar-free gum can be applied in the affected teeth to minimize the likelihood of injury.

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