It can sometimes be unclear exactly what constitutes a dental emergency. Mouth issues often cause pain and can instill fear. You may wonder if the problem needs to be addressed immediately, if it can be handled at home, or if it can wait for an office visit.
Is this a dental emergency?
Certain dental issues are urgent and should be treated accordingly, while others can surely wait. It is very important to understand the difference, especially at night or over a weekend when you don’t have access to your regular dental office.
Here are some examples of dental problems in need of urgent care:
- Excessive or persistent bleeding
- If a permanent tooth becomes loose or gets knocked out
- An injury to the jaw
- Painful or throbbing toothache
The above symptoms need to be treated right away. Your dentist may have an emergency number after hours. If not, visit your local emergency room.
The following concerns are not of an urgent nature:
- Missing filling, bridge or crown
- Cracked or broken tooth that isn’t causing pain
- Broken retainer or night guard
- Dull tooth pain
You should still contact your dentist regarding non-urgent care, but it is usually not necessary for you to be seen immediately.
How should I handle a dental emergency at home?
Depending on the problem, there are some steps that can be taken at home to remedy the situation and ease your pain. The first thing to do is remain calm. Anxiety will only make you feel worse.
Here is a list of tips you can do on your own to manage the pain caused by a dental emergency:
- Rinse your mouth with a mixture of salt and warm water to reduce swelling and ease irritation.
- If you lose a tooth, store it in a glass of milk until you can see your dentist.
- If you have pain around one specific tooth, try flossing around it. Something may be lodged inside the gum or between teeth.
- Place a cold compress on the swollen, bleeding or irritated area.
- Rinse your mouth with hydrogen peroxide to ease irritation and kill bacteria.
Bad breath: It happens to all of us. In fact, surveys have shown that at least 50% of adults have had bad breath—also known as halitosis—at some point in their lives, so if you’re experiencing it right now, you’re not alone. But what causes bad breath, and how do you get rid of it?
Causes of Bad Breath
Besides your standard onion, bad breath can be caused for a lot of reasons outside of your food choices. For example, in many cases, bad breath can be a result of the bacteria that naturally live in your mouth. These bacteria feed on the sugars and starches that you eat, and end up producing that “bad breath” smell as a result.
In addition to bacteria, simply having a dry mouth can lead to bad breath. The saliva in your mouth serves as a natural “mouth rinse” by helping remove small food particles. If you’re not producing enough saliva, there’s no way to remove these particles that will eventually attract bad breath-causing bacteria.
There are also more serious reasons as to why you may have bad breath. If you have bad breath that doesn’t seem to go away with regular dental hygiene and rinsing your mouth after meals, it may be a sign of gum disease.
Best Bad Breath Remedies
However, although there are many causes of bad breath, there are also different types of solutions for it too! Some ways you can bust bad breath include:
- Practice dental hygiene – If you continuously make a habit of brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day, you can significantly reduce the bacteria that cause bad breath.
- Clean your tongue regularly – Your tongue can actually be a safe harbor for bad breath-causing bacteria! While you’re practicing regular dental hygiene, make sure you don’t forget your tongue; use your toothbrush or a tongue scraper to best remove lingering bacteria.
- Keep your mouth hydrated – If you often have problems with dry mouth, start making a habit of drinking more water, or eating healthy foods that may require more chewing, like apples or spinach. You can also try chewing sugar-free gum to try to generate more saliva.
Besides practicing dental hygiene and keeping your mouth hydrated, it’s also important that you visit our office at least twice a year, so we can perform a thorough dental cleaning that will help eliminate bacteria. We can also check for any serious causes of bad breath—such as gum disease—that may need immediate treatment. If you’re having problems with bad breath, book an appointment with our office today!