According to the American Dental Association, the difference between saving and losing a knocked out tooth, is the thirty minutes following the incident.
To save the tooth, follow these steps:
- Rinse the tooth in tap water.
- Avoid scrubbing the tooth.
- Insert the tooth into the empty socket quickly.
- If you are uncomfortable inserting the tooth, put the tooth in milk or water Get to the dentist immediately.
Common dental emergencies:
a. Broken/Fractured tooth
Although teeth are the strongest substance in the whole body, they may chip or break due to various reasons. Some of the most common reasons are biting into something hard accidentally, tooth with a large filling, root canal treated tooth that is not capped and tooth undermined due to decay.
What to expect:
Depending on the extent of fracture your tooth may be sensitive to temperature and pressure changes. Rinse your mouth gently with lukewarm water. Take a pain reliever if needed. See your dentist as soon as possible so he can determine the course of treatment.
How is it treated?
Fractures may involve only the superficial outer part of the tooth (enamel). In such a case your dentist may lightly polish the area to smooth the rough surfaces or place a filling and observe the tooth for further changes. If the fracture involves the enamel and the inner sensitive dentin your dentist may have to place a crown due to the extent of involvement. This will protect the tooth and prevent further damage. Sometimes fractures may involve the enamel, dentin and the nerve tissue inside the tooth. This will necessitate a root canal treatment and a crown. If the crack extends beyond the gum line it may require a crown lengthening procedure, which involves removal of bone to grasp enough healthy structure for the crown. However, if the crack extends to the root the tooth cannot be saved and will have to be removed.
b. Canker sores
Canker sores are shallow, painful sores in your mouth. They are usually red or may sometimes have a white coating over them. You may get them on the inside of your lips, the insides of your cheeks, the base of your gums or under your tongue. Canker sores are different from fever blisters, which usually are on the outside of your lips or the corners of your mouth.
Anyone can get canker sores, but women people in their teens and 20s get them more often. Canker sores may run in families, but they aren’t contagious. Causes of canker sores are unknown but they may be triggered by stress, poor nutrition, food allergies, spicy foods and menstrual periods.
Canker sores usually go away without treatment. However, for pain relief your dentist may recommend medicines such as Anbesol, Oragel, Orabase and Zilactin-B, which may prevent your canker sores from becoming irritated by eating, drinking or brushing your teeth. These medicines can be applied directing on the sore with your finger tip or a Q-tip. Gently dry the sore with a swab before applying. Do not eat or drink anything for 30 minutes after applying.
Unfortunately, causes of canker sore formation are unknown. However, using toothpaste that does not contain SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate), avoiding hard, crunchy or spicy foods and chewing gum may help reduce mouth irritation. Brushing your teeth after meals, using a soft toothbrush and flossing every day will also keep your mouth free of food that might cause a canker sore. If you get canker sores often, or if they’re very painful, talk to your dentist.
Operculitis is an inflammation of the gum tissue found over partially erupted teeth. The most frequent site is the mandibular third molar region. The heavy flap of gingival tissues covering portions of the tooth crown of the tooth makes an ideal pocket for debris accumulation and bacterial incubation. In the acute phase, pain and swelling in the area are prominent features. Symptoms of a sore throat and difficulty in swallowing may be present. A partial contraction of muscles of mastication, causing difficulty in opening the mouth (trismus), may also be experienced. Abscess formation in the area may occur, leading to marked systemic symptoms of general malaise and fever.
Treatment involves careful cleaning below the flap and saline irrigation. It may also require antibiotic therapy if the condition warrants. Your dentist may decide to incise the gingival flap to make the area self cleansable. If in the third molar area it may require the extraction of the tooth.
The short answer is yes. Flossing removes plaque and debris that stick to teeth and gums between your teeth. Plaque is a soft, sticky accumulation that occurs on teeth and gum tissue. It is the host to a complex system of microorganisms including bacteria which cause inflammatory diseases of the gingiva called gingivitis and periodontitis or gum disease.If plaque is left on the teeth it increases in mass and thickness and the number and types of bacteria increase. Gingivitis is a result of increased plaque and results in swollen and red gums that bleed easily. If plaque continues to accumulate mineral salts are deposited into the plaque and calculus is formed. With the formation of calculus, periodontitis or gum disease can take hold. Calculus cannot be removed by brushing or flossing requiring a visit to the dentist to be removed. However, bacterial plaque, once disturbed by flossing and brushing, takes approximately twenty four hours to reform. This is the reason we need to floss daily so that we can disrupt the salivary pellicle and prevent bacterial plaque from forming and accumulating between our teeth where our toothbrush cannot reach.
If you haven’t flossed in a while, you may see bleeding and blood on the floss after you use it. This indicates that your gums are inflamed and in need of flossing to remove bacteria. With a regular regimen of flossing the bleeding should go away.
Methods Of Flossing:
One method of flossing is the spool method and the loop method. The spool method is suited for those with manual dexterity. Take an 18-inch piece of floss and wind the bulk of the floss lightly around the middle finger. (Don’t cut off your finger’s circulation!) Wind the rest of the floss similarly around the same finger of the opposite hand. This finger takes up the floss as it becomes soiled or frayed. Maneuver the floss between teeth with your index fingers and thumbs. Don’t pull it down hard against your gums or you will hurt them. Don’t rub it side to side as if you’re shining shoes. Bring the floss up and down several times, forming a “C” shape around the tooth and being sure to go below the gumline and floss each side of the tooth.
Another form of flossing involves using flossers or interdental floss ups. These are disposable pieces of plastics which have a piece of floss attached. They allow for one handed flossing and are excellent for children and for those who have a hard time flossing with regular floss. Just maneuver the flosser between your teeth and bring the floss up and down and be sure to floss each side of the tooth.
Dental floss comes in many forms:
waxed and unwaxed, flavored and unflavored, wide and regular. They all clean and remove plaque about the same. Waxed floss might be easier to slide between tight teeth or tight restorations. However, the unwaxed floss makes a squeaking sound to let you know your teeth are clean. However don’t use waterpicks as a substitute for brushing and flossing. They are effective around orthodontic braces, which retain food in areas where a toothbrush cannot reach but they do not remove plaque.
By brushing and flossing we help to eliminate the bacteria which can lead to bad breath, gingivitis, and periodontal disease thus creating smiles which last a lifetime.
Bad breath occurs when sulfur compounds are produced in the body and released into the air. The most common source of this sulfur is anaerobic (without oxygen) bacteria that live in the grooves or fibers at the back of the tongue. These bacteria produce the sulfur that gives off an unpleasant smell. This frequently occurs when the mouth is dry, creating an ideal environment for anaerobic bacteria to thrive. Sulfur compounds are also produced when certain types of food are consumed. The compounds make their way into the bloodstream and then to the lungs, where they are excreted into the air we exhale.
Causes of bad breath:
Bad breath is caused by many factors. Normally, saliva helps wash away the natural buildup of bacteria in the mouth and on the tongue. Yet, when saliva sits on the back of the tongue and is digested by bacteria, it shows up as a white film on the tongue. This is a major source of bad breath. Bad breath is also caused by postnasal drip, a condition where the back of the tongue and throat accumulate high amounts of protein, which bacteria thrive on. Foods that are high in protein or acidity, such as fish, milk, cheese or coffee, also cause bad breath. Dieting or fasting, both of which involve a low intake of calories, causes bad breath by reducing the saliva in the mouth. Contrary to popular belief, stomach problems do not cause bad breath.
More serious Causes:
More persistent problems with unpleasant breath can indicate diseases such as diabetes, liver dysfunction, pulmonary disease, and respiratory disease. Periodontal pockets, the spaces that form between the teeth and gums, are another source of bad breath. These pockets, which occur in the latter stage of periodontal disease, create spaces for bacteria to grow, and give off a chronic unpleasant odor. Dental work may be required in order to remove these pockets of bacteria. Periodontal disease is detected by the presence of bleeding gums, loose teeth, receding gums, or pain when chewing.
Proper oral hygiene eliminates many cases of bad breath. Daily brushing and flossing removes the plaque and bacteria that often cause bad breath. While brushing, take special care to thoroughly brush the back of the tongue where bacteria normally collect. Mints and mouthwashes can hide bad breath, but do not eliminate this condition. Avoid foods that have powerful odors and drink lots of water to insure that the mouth is cleansed and full of oxygen (an environment in which bacteria do not thrive). For information on current treatments, contact a dentist in your area regarding current products on the market that can eliminate bad breath
Bruxism is the term that refers to an incessant grinding and clenching of the teeth, unintentionally, and at inappropriate times. Bruxers (persons with bruxism) are often unaware that they have developed this habit, and often do not know that treatment is available until damage to the mouth and teeth have been done. Damage caused by bruxism often includes the following symptoms. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently.
Symptoms may include:
- Abraded teeth
- Facial pain
- Oversensitive teeth
- Tense facial and jaw muscles
- Dislocation of the jaw
- Damage to the tooth enamel, exposing the inside of the tooth (dentin)
- A popping or clicking in the TemporoMandibular Joint (TMJ)
- Tongue indentations
- Damage to the inside of the cheek
The symptoms of bruxism may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Consult a dentist or your physician for a diagnosis.
Treatment may involve:
Night Guard – A specially-fitted plastic mouth appliance may be worn at night to absorb the force of biting. This appliance may help to prevent future damage to the teeth.
Biofeedback – An electronic instrument that measures the amount of muscle activity of the mouth and jaw — indicating to the patient when too much muscle activity is taking place so that the behavior can be changed. This is especially helpful for daytime bruxers.