Just like other important parts of the body, the mouth is also subject to injury. The injury can be as minor as biting your tongue, while other times it can be more serious and require professional care. By educating ourselves on how to handle a dental emergency during COVID-19, we can remain calm and in control. Research shows that, in the face of an emergency, education helps us remain calm.
Dental Visits During a Pandemic
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the American Dental Association (ADA), and most local governments have issued orders to the public to hold off on routine dental care visits, such as dental cleanings. Minimizing traffic in a dental office will help slow the spread of germs and is part of the effort to flatten the curve.
Reschedule the following dental services for a later date:
- Regular visits for exams, cleanings, and x-rays
- Regular visits for braces
- Removal of teeth that aren’t painful
- Treatment of cavities that aren’t painful
- Teeth whitening and other cosmetic procedures
The ADA recommends that you contact your dentist at this time if you experience:
- Bleeding that doesn’t stop
- Painful swelling in or around your mouth
- Pain in a tooth, teeth, or jawbone
- Gum infection with pain or swelling
- After surgery treatment (dressing change, stitch removal)
- Broken or knocked out tooth
- Denture adjustment for people receiving radiation or other treatment for cancer
- Snipping or adjusting wire of braces that hurts your cheek or gums
- Biopsy of abnormal tissue
If you have a need for emergency dental services, we recommend you contact your dental provider as many of them are continuing to operate on an as-needed basis and for emergencies. If they’re not currently operating, they can often recommend a colleague who is. You can also use our website or contact customer service at 1-800-610-0201 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find a dentist if you need one.
Types of Dental Emergencies:
- Lost Tooth: If a permanent tooth is knocked out, time is of the essence. You may be able to re-implant the tooth. In order to give you the best chance, call your dentist immediately and try and get into to see him as soon as possible. Transport your tooth in a glass of milk if available. If not, a glass of saltwater will do.
- Toothaches: While toothaches aren’t necessarily an emergency, they can sometimes be painful and make you uncomfortable. Try washing your mouth with warm saltwater and taking an over the counter pain medication. Contact your dentist for an appointment as soon as possible.
- Broken or Fractured Jaw – If you have a broken jaw, you will likely feel pain in the face or jaw and have swelling and bruising. Your jaw may not work properly or misalign teeth. To control swelling, apply a cold compress. Stabilize the jaw using a bandage wrapped beneath the jaw and tied on top of the head and contact your primary care physician for additional instructions.
For more information on maintaining your oral health during a pandemic, check out: