Just like other important parts of the body, the mouth is subject to accidents. Sometimes the injury can be as minor as biting your tongue. Other times, the injury is more serious and requires 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. This is how lifeguards and paramedics are able to do their jobs.
Dental emergencies can be just as frightening as medical emergencies. Learn what a dental emergency is and how to handle it during COVID-19. Pain and stress can cause trouble thinking clearly. Educate yourself before you’re in the midst of a dental emergency for the best possible outcome.
Dental Visits During a Pandemic
Dental offices are continuing to provide the care you need such as cleanings, X-rays, and other dental services. Keep in mind that with the added diligence that dental offices are undergoing to keep you and the office staff safe such as regular office cleanings, and possible COVID-19 screenings prior to being seen that your dentist is quite likely not able to see as many patients in a day as in “normal” conditions. Plan for added wait time to be seen. But if you are experiencing more severe symptoms, you should call your dentist to see if you can be seen sooner.
The American Dental Association recommends that you contact your dentist for emergency services 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.
Dental offices are open for regular business, but there may be a chance your dentist’s office is on a reduced schedule. If you need help finding a dentist, you can easily search for one on our website at https://www.deltadentalco.com/dentist-search.html.
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. To give you the best chance, call your dentist immediately and try to get in to see them 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 get to the nearest emergency room quickly.
Familiarity with how to handle a dental emergency will help you or someone you love to recover more quickly and easily.
For more information on maintaining your oral health during COVID-19, check out:
*Updated September 2021