In addition to maintaining a regular oral hygiene routine at home, one of the most important ways to ensure that you enjoy good oral health is by visiting your dentist on a regular basis for exams and professionals cleanings. In addition to those routine visits, you should also make every effort to see your dentist as quickly as possible whenever you experience any type of dental issue. Chances are, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will become.
Having said all that, there will be times when you have a problem and can’t make it to the dentist right away for whatever reason. In those circumstances, there are steps you can take to treat minor dental issues at home. What follows are some of those methods.
- Sore gums: If your gums are sore, bleeding, swollen and/or red or dark pink in color, it could slight indicate an infection or the early stages of gum disease. Either way, it’s important to visit your dentist whenever these symptoms occur. In the meantime, however, there are a few steps you can take at home to ease the discomfort of sore gums. The first is to make sure you’re brushing and flossing twice a day, and using an anti-gingivitis mouthwash once a day. The symptoms you’re experiencing are most likely caused by gum disease, and a regular oral hygiene routine is the best way to treat those symptoms at home.
- Toothache: Similar to other dental issues, toothaches should always be brought to the attention of your dentist. But until you can visit the dentist’s office, there are a few effective at-home treatments that can ease the pain of a toothache. Try swishing and rinsing with warm salt water, which helps to kill bacteria and ease the swelling and the discomfort. A cold compress held on the outside of the cheek may help to numb the pain as well. Over-the-counter pain medicine might also provide some relief.
- Chipped or broken teeth: It goes without saying that you should visit your dentist right away with a broken tooth. In the meantime, apply clean gauze to the gum area to stop any bleeding. A cold compress held outside the mouth on the cheek can help to reduce pain and swelling. And be sure to save the tooth or pieces of the tooth if possible.
- Lost filling: Try not to chew food with the affected tooth since it will most likely be very sensitive. You might try filling it with an over-the-counter dental cement until you can get to your dentist’s office.
- Lost crown: Crowns don’t come off very easily, but if this happens to you, make sure to save the crown. If the tooth is sore, you might try gently applying a small amount of clove oil to the tooth and surrounding gum to reduce pain. And, of course, get in to see your dentist as soon as possible.
- Knocked-out tooth: Save the tooth in a cup of warm salt water or milk. Apply a small amount of sterile gauze on the gum to stop the bleeding. Call you dentist right away. It is possible for a knocked-out tooth to be saved, but only if you see your dentist right away.
While these methods might work as stop-gap measures until you can see your dentist, if you experience excessive bleeding or another more serious issue – such as an infection with a lot of swelling, for example – consider visiting your local emergency room for more assistance. When it comes to dental problems, the sooner they’re treated, the better!