Problems with your mouth or teeth can occur suddenly. You might be injured playing a sport, eating, or even just while doing a seemingly harmless activity. You should know what types of dental problems are considered emergencies, and what to do while waiting to see your dentist. Quick action can make a big difference in saving a tooth, or limiting damage to your mouth or face.
What is considered an emergency?
Not every dental problem must be treated as an emergency, but some do require professional treatment as soon as possible. This includes a broken or knocked out tooth, lost crowns and fillings, severe toothache, infection, and injuries to the soft tissues of your mouth.
What should I do?
See your dentist as soon as possible to treat the problem and prevent further damage. Here are some steps to take if you experience any of the following common dental emergencies:
- Severe toothache – rinse your mouth with warm water and floss to remove trapped food.
- Swelling – apply a cold compress on the outside of the swollen area. Do not place any painkiller or aspirin against your gums, because it can burn your gum tissue.
- Chipped or broken tooth – if possible, save the piece that has broken off. Rinse both the piece and your mouth with warm water. If it is bleeding, hold gauze on the area. Apply a cold compress to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
- Lost filling – apply dental cement from your drugstore to fill the hollow area until you can see your dentist. Or, try placing a bit of sugarless gum into the area.
- Lost crown –try to replace the crown on your tooth and hold it in place temporarily with dental cement, denture adhesive, or toothpaste.
- Abscess – infections in your mouth can become abscessed, which is a serious condition. Rinse with warm salt water and see your dentist immediately.
- Soft tissue injuries – treat damage to your gums, cheeks, tongue and lips by rinsing with warm salty water. Hold gauze to the specific area to control bleeding, and hold a cold pack to the external area.
Our dental office is located in Morehead City
Once you have had dental implants surgically placed, you will want to follow some important care tips to ensure their long-term success. With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime, so it’s exceptionally important to adhere to the instructions provided by your dentist and guidelines like these:
- Follow a vigilant routine of brushing and flossing thoroughly at least twice per day to eliminate the plaque that can cause periodontal disease, which is a leading cause of implant failure.
- Consult with your dentist about the type and use of special toothbrushes or oral irrigation devices that can help with the additional removal of food debris or plaque that builds up around the implant areas.
- Visit your dentist approximately every three months for the first year after implant surgery, and then every six months for the duration of your implants.
- If you are also wearing an implant supported denture, seek additional guidance from your dentist about the placement and removal of your denture to prevent damage to the implant.
- Refrain from applying excessive pressure or chewing on hard foods that could cause damage to the implant area. Patients who suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding) should consider being fitted for a night guard to protect the implants.
While the success rate of dental implants is high, implant failure can happen and normally results from infection, fracture, or damage to the nerves, teeth or blood vessels surrounding the implant. A successful implant patient who takes vigilant care of their teeth, gums, and implants can expect a full recovery and complication-free lifetime of beautiful, healthy smiles.
Our dental office is located in Morehead City
Gum disease is a serious problem. You should treat it as soon as possible following the recommendations of your dentist. Also known as periodontal disease, it has several treatments, depending on the severity of the issue.
Your first course of action is to completely revamp your oral hygiene habits. Daily flossing and brushing following meals are essential habits to develop. You must have a clean mouth before you go to bed. If you smoke, you should stop. Your mouth’s health depends on it.
If you haven’t been keeping up with your professional checkups and cleanings, you need to start again. Long-term gum health is greatly impacted by the plaque, tartar, food debris and bacteria left on teeth. Hardened calculus, or calcified plaque, can be removed using a process called scaling. This process may require local anesthesia.
Your progress will be evaluated by your dentist to see if your gum tissue is recovering. With enough progress and response to treatment, your gum disease treatment may not progress beyond these initial steps; however, for more severe cases of gum disease, you may require oral surgery.
Surgical procedures are available that can regenerate and repair the soft gum tissue in the mouth, as well as hard tissues such as bone or teeth. Your oral surgeon will want to reduce or completely eliminate gum pockets, or open areas beneath the gum line, improving and renewing gum to tooth attachment. Normal oral functions and aesthetic appearances are aimed to be restored.
There are many sedation dentistry options available to patients treating their gum disease with oral surgery. These include local anesthesia and IV or conscious oral sedation. Talk to your oral surgeon to see what’s appropriate for your specific needs.
Don’t wait to treat your gum disease. Do what you need to do to ensure a lifetime of better oral hygiene and gum health.
Our dental office is located in Morehead City
Thanks to advances in dental technology, dentures are more natural looking and comfortable than ever before. If you are one of the many adults wearing dentures to replace missing teeth, there are several do’s and don’ts you will want to follow to ensure they maintain their fit and your oral health:
- Do take your dentures out before going to bed, allowing your mouth tissues to rest from wearing them all day.
- Don’t let your dentures dry out. Soak them in mild denture solution or water while you sleep.
- Do clean them daily with either a mild detergent or special denture cleaning solution and a soft-bristled brush.
- Don’t soak them in very hot water, as this could cause them to warp, and they will no longer fit properly.
- Do handle them with care. Dropping your dentures or treating them with strong cleansers or harsh brushes can do permanent damage.
- Don’t neglect your oral care for the rest of your mouth. Even patients with a full set of dentures need to take care of their gums, and if you have partial dentures you should continue to brush and floss your remaining teeth regularly.
- Do pay attention to changes in the fit or feel of your dentures. Problems with fit can lead to irritation and discomfort, and could also be an indication of gum disease.
- Don’t try to adjust or repair your dentures on your own. If your dentures are ill-fitting or damaged in any way, schedule an appointment with your dentist to have them evaluated.
- Do continue to see your dentist for regular checkups to help maintain your best oral health and check your dentures for fit and function.
If you are missing all or some of your teeth, dentures can greatly improve both your appearance and the quality of your life. By following these simple guidelines, you can maintain the beauty and functionality of your dentures for many years.
We treat patients from Morehead City and the surrounding area
Most of the time, the idea of dentures brings to mind elderly people who are missing a mouthful of teeth. The truth is that dentures are not just for old folks, but for people of all ages who have lost teeth for some reason. Gum disease, tooth decay, and trauma from an accident are all common reasons for tooth loss. There is no need to suffer through life with gaps in your smile, when you can opt for dentures to restore both appearance and function.
The main reasons that many people consider getting dentures include:
- Eating – your teeth help you to chew and eat food. Dentures serve the same purpose, allowing you to eat a normal diet without having to stick only to soft foods or liquids.
- Speaking – when the gaps in your smile have been filled, your ability to speak more clearly and easily is improved.
- Smiling – replacing missing teeth gives you back your self-confidence to smile and laugh again. You will be proud of your new smile and be willing to display it more often. Also, your cheeks will have a fuller look and your appearance may look younger.
When you get dentures, expect that it may take some time to get used to them. They may feel strange at first, and you should be patient while you learn to talk and eat with them. Time will help you adjust to the dentures, but if discomfort lingers you should visit your dentist to make sure the fit is correct and no adjustments are necessary.
If you need a dentist in Morehead City contact us today