What to Do in a Dental Emergency?

We know dental emergencies can be painful and often frightening, but we are here to help and make every effort to see people in discomfort or pain quickly. Some situations are more urgent than others, for example:

  • Severe toothache
  • Gum or facial swelling near the affected tooth
  • Jaw injuries
  • Knocking out or loosening a permanent tooth
  • Bleeding that fails to stop after applying gentle pressure for fifteen minutes

If you do lose a tooth, store it in a little milk and come and see us immediately as we might be able to save the tooth. Swelling affecting your mouth or face can be relieved using a warm saltwater rinse made by dissolving a teaspoon of salt in a mug of water. However, you must still see a dentist urgently as you could have a severe infection that may even become life-threatening.

Other situations might be unpleasant, but may not need emergency dental care and include:

  • Losing a filling or crown
  • Cracking or breaking a tooth where there isn’t severe pain
  • Food trapped between teeth
  • Damaging or breaking braces, a retainer or nightguard

We are still open for dental emergencies. Contact us for more detailed advice over the phone, and we can get you booked in to see our dentist.

Periodontal Disease and the Connection to Systemic Diseases

For decades it was thought that diseases affecting the mouth were completely separate from those affecting the body. However, we now know that oral health and particularly periodontal disease is closely connected to systemic health. Periodontal disease or gum disease is now linked to serious systemic conditions including Type II diabetes, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease amongst others. It can also adversely affect pregnancy.

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory condition affecting the tissues surrounding teeth and which occurs when bacteria in the mouth build up in dental plaque, usually because of poor oral hygiene. The body’s inflammatory response to this bacterial buildup can destroy the tissues around your teeth, eventually leading to tooth loss. There are several stages of periodontal disease, ranging from reversible gingivitis to chronic periodontitis.

One of the most common symptoms of periodontal disease is bleeding gums, and these open wounds allow bacteria in the mouth to enter the body. Once these bacteria get into the bloodstream, they can travel virtually anywhere, and oral bacteria have been found in arteries of patients with cardiovascular disease. Periodontal disease can make conditions like diabetes harder to control and may increase the chances of developing Type II diabetes.

The good news is that periodontal disease is avoidable with good oral hygiene to reduce plaque buildup. Regular dental visits allow us to detect signs of this disease early when it is still reversible.

At-Home Guide for Keeping Your Dental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In an uncertain world, there is one thing that you can control, and that is your preventative dental care routine. Practising good oral care is key to avoid emergency dental appointments for toothaches and other problems.

Tooth Brushing and Flossing

Remember to brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time, using a soft-bristled toothbrush with a head is small enough to reach right to the back of your mouth. Use dental floss or interdental brushes or a water pik to floss between your teeth every day.

Mouthwash

You don’t need to use mouthwash if you have a good brushing and flossing routine. However, if you want to use one, make sure it is alcohol-free and perhaps look for a brand that contains fluoride for additional protection.

Mouth Ulcers

Many people develop mouth ulcers and especially when under stress. Make a saltwater rinse by dissolving a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and regularly use to help your mouth ulcers heal and to relieve discomfort. If your mouth ulcers persist for more than two weeks, contact us for help and information.

Snacking

Snacking can harm your dental health. Try to eat regular, balanced meals and if you do want a snack, enjoy it as part of your main meal. Good hydration is essential for oral health so make sure you drink plenty of water.