It’s 9 o’clock on a Sunday night and your front tooth is in the palm of your hand. You just bit into an apple and now have only half a tooth. Do not panic. The following information will help you temporarily handle common dental emergencies. Call the office on 604-987-4321 as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.
Do you have a Broken or Chipped Tooth?
Place soft wax onto the chipped area as this will avoid further aggravating the damaged tooth. Eat only soft foods and avoid hot and cold drinks. If possible, collect all pieces of the tooth to bring to your dentist.
Do you have a Knocked-Out Tooth?
If you can, place the tooth back in place while on your way to see the dentist. If this is not possible put the tooth in milk or saline in order to keep the root moist and protect against bacteria. If bleeding, rinse with water and bite down on a piece of gauze.
Do you have an Ulcer, Canker or Mouth Sores?
While uncomfortable these sores tend to heal on their own. To ease discomfort, apply an over-the-counter medicine like Oracort. Knowing what triggers canker sores for you (i.e. stress, spicy foods) can reduce the frequency of sore outbreaks. If the sores do not heal after 14 days, are accompanied by a fever or appear to be infected call your dentist.
Do you have a Toothache?
An over-the-counter pain medication can help to relieve pain. Toothaches are often a sign of infection in or around a tooth and must be checked by a dentist.
Post Surgery Oral Care
So you just had an oral surgery procedure and are now left wondering what to do next. Below are instructions for patients to follow after they have undergone oral surgery. Stitches, if required, are removed without discomfort in about a week. An appointment will be made for you. Do not hesitate to call the office if in doubt.
Bite on a water moistened gauze pad until bleeding lessens (approx. 20-30 minutes). If bleeding persists, place a new moistened pad over the area.
If you change the pad too often, bleeding may be prolonged.
It is normal for the saliva to be streaked with blood for the first day..
The gauze may be substituted by a tea bag. The tannic acid in tea has a clotting effect.
Swelling and discoloration is to be expected in certain areas, usually reaching its maximum three days after surgery.
To reduce swelling, place an icepack on the cheek area (15 minutes on and 15 minutes off) for the first day.
After 24 hours rinse frequently (after meals and before bed) with warm salt water (1/2 tsp. salt to 1 cup water).
Diet: Cold or lukewarm liquids may be taken for the first four to six hours. Eat only soft foods (i.e. milk, pureed vegetables, cream soups, yogurt, applesauce, pasta, eggs) when you can chew without difficulty. Sleep with head elevated.
The Don’ts: No smoking for 24-48 hours after the procedure.
Do not drink with a straw for the first day. This creates suction and may loosen the blood clot.
Do not rinse your mouth or brush the area until a day after the surgery (24 hours).
Do not disturb the treated area with your tongue, fingers or toothbrush and avoid chewing with that side.
Do not eat or drink until the anesthesia has worn off.