Injuries to the gums and teeth can be potentially severe dental emergencies if they are ignored. The risks of irreparable damage are greater if these types of injuries are overlooked for too long and they may also need more widespread treatments in the future to mend damage that may perhaps have been attended to sooner.
Here are a handful of dental emergencies and a brief summary of the ways of how to deal with them:
Severe tooth pains - The initial step is to rinse your mouth fairly thoroughly with warm water. After that use dental floss to take out any foods that might be trapped in-between your teeth. If there is any inflammation, apply wrapped ice or a cold compress to the outside of your cheek or oral cavity. Avoid placing any pain killers like aspirin against the gums of an aching tooth as they might burn the gum tissues.
Cracked, chipped or broken teeth - Try to set aside any busted pieces. Rinse meticulously the remaining fragments and your mouth with warm water. If there's bleeding, put on a piece of gauze to the area for something like 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. Put on a cold compress to the outer surface of the mouth, cheek, or lip close by the broken/chipped tooth to keep any inflammation down and relieve pain.
Knocked-out tooth - Retrieve the tooth, grip it by the crown (the section that is usually exposed in the mouth), and rinse off the tooth root with water if it's dirty. Don't scrub it or get rid of any attached tissue fragments. If at all possible, put the tooth back into the socket, but be sure it is facing the right way. Do not force it back into the socket however. If you cannot set the tooth back into its socket, place the tooth in a cup of milk (if you have no milk, use water with a pinch of salt). Visit your dentist as soon as possible. Knocked out teeth with the highest probability of being saved are those seen by the oral health care professional and returned to their socket within one hour of being knocked out.
Extruded (partially dislodged) tooth - See your oral health care provider right away. Until you reach your oral health doctor's office, to relieve pain, put on a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected area. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever like Tylenol or Advil, if needed.
Objects trapped between your teeth - Gently, try using floss to cautiously dislodge the object. If you are unable to remove the object, see your oral health care professional. Keep in mind, never to use pointed objects like pins to poke at the stuck object as these instruments can cut the tissues of the gums or scratch up the exterior of the tooth.
Tooth abscesses - Tooth abscesses are infections close to the root of a tooth or in the spaces connecting the gums and teeth. These may be very severe and can impair the tissues adjoining the infection. If left untreated, the infection may spread to other regions of the body.
Because of the serious oral health and general health issues that might result from an abscess, visit your oral health care professional as soon as possible if you detect a pimple-like swelling on your gum that commonly is hurting. In the meantime, to relieve the pain and pull the pus toward the exterior, try rinsing your mouth with a mild salt water solution (1/2 teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of water) several times a day.