During the holiday season, happiness and togetherness should be the theme in which gatherings and celebrations are had. The last thing you want to have to focus on is any dental pain or discomfort.

However, accidents and other dental issues can happen at any time, so it is important to know how to address these issues during this holiday season.

Whether it warrants an emergency dentist visit, a visit to the emergency room, or simple at-home remedies, dental pain, irritation, and/or problems are no fun for anyone. Use some of these tips in conjunction with advice from your health professionals on how to treat such.

What Are Dental Emergencies?

There are many types of dental emergencies, and they may vary based on the severity and pain tolerance of the patient. However, any of these dental emergencies should be taken and treated seriously and with the utmost care, even during the holidays.

If you are experiencing any of the following, please follow up with your dental professional as soon as possible. A dental emergency can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Knocked-out tooth
  • Chipped or broken tooth
  • Filling or dental restoration loss
  • Food or object stuck between teeth
  • General tooth pain due to cavity or other

How to Handle Dental Emergencies?

During the holidays, your local dental office may have limited or changed hours. Be aware of any applicable changes to such in case an emergency should arise.

If your dental office has an on-call dental staff, call them first when experiencing an emergency, and they will best advise you of your next steps, whether that be a dental visit, ER visit, or other treatment plans. If your dental office does not have an on-call staff and is closed, contact your local emergency room for further instruction.

At-Home Measures

There are some at-home measures that can be taken to temporarily treat your dental emergency when approved by your emergency dentist or general dentist.

Knocked-out tooth

If you have a tooth that has been knocked out, immediately retrieve the tooth when available and clean it with water. Do not attempt to force the tooth back into its place, but when possible, gently put it back in the socket. If you cannot do so, place it soaking in milk or warm saltwater, and seek care immediately!

Chipped or broken tooth

For a broken tooth, save the broken tooth when possible. Apply gauze to the area to thwart consistent bleeding. An ice pack can be used to reduce any swelling that may occur. Over-the-counter medication can be taken for minimal pain. For a chipped tooth, when possible, save the portion of the tooth that has broken off. Apply gauze over any portion of the tooth that remains that may be causing pain or discomfort.

Filling or dental restoration loss

When possible, save any portion of the filling or restoration. Use gauze on the area if the cracked portion is causing discomfort to the cheek or gum area. If possible, put the crown back onto the tooth, but do not use any glue product to do so.

Food or object stuck between teeth

Rinse mouth out with warmed saltwater to assist in removing the food or object. Brush and floss the area gently in an attempt to do the same.

General tooth pain due to a cavity or other

Rinse mouth out with warm salt water to reduce irritation from stuck particles between teeth. Apply an ice pack to the area to reduce any swelling, and use over-the-counter pain medication as described to relieve pain

No one wants a dental emergency or any emergency to happen to them, especially during the holidays. However, knowing how to treat and handle these situations can help ease your mind, and you can go back to enjoying your time with family and friends.

As always, reach out to your emergency dentist and/or general dentist when these dental emergencies arise for the best and proper treatment plan for all dental events.