What to keep in a dental emergency kit
Submitted by Dr. Dean Carlston of Carlston Dental Group
Everyone is aware of the need for storing food and water for emergency needs, but how many of us think about having an emergency kit of supplies that can temporarily alleviate dental pain until we can visit the dentist? Here are some items and home remedies you should keep handy and use in case of emergencies.
Sometimes the fracture in a tooth is close to the nerve, which causes sensitivity to temperature and chemicals like sugar, acids and spices. A good way to calm the tooth down is to rinse vigorously with a cup of warm water mixed with a heaping teaspoon of baking soda. The baking soda neutralizes acids and temporarily calms the sensitivity.
If you have a hole in the tooth from a lost filling or a cavity that has been neglected, you can soak a small cotton ball with clove oil and place it in the hole. This is a remedy that has been used for thousands of years. If you don't have clove oil, you can make it by crushing cloves in olive oil.
If a tooth is knocked out, place it in a container of milk and get to a dentist right away. Until it goes in the milk, simply place the tooth back under the tongue. Often the tooth can be replaced in the socket after the dentist removes the nerve.
If you suffer from an abscess, a small piece of ice placed directly against the side of the tooth will provide relief. The ice causes gas buildup in the tooth to shrink, which relieves the pressure pain.
Tooth infections in the early stages are often relieved by warm instead of cold water. You should experiment with the various temperatures to see which relieves the pain. Baking soda, salt and undiluted 3 percent peroxide can be experimented with to see what works best.
It is best to keep your head elevated at least 8 inches above your heart at all times when you have dental pain, since the pressure from each heartbeat is transferred to the infected area when you lie flat.
If a crown comes loose, often you can hold it on the tooth with a small amount of denture adhesive, such as Polygrip, until you can visit the dentist.
Soft orthodontic-type wax can be used to create insulation for the tooth in some fracture cases.
Remember, regular dental visits will help to avoid most dental emergencies.
Carlston Dental Group is located in Los Angeles. Carlston is a graduate of Baylor Dental School in Texas and a member of the American Dental Association and the Los Angeles Dental Society. For the past 30 years, Carlston has been associated with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, American Orthodontic Society, Clinical Straight Wire Technique Foundation (an orthodontic study group), American Endodontic Society and Academy of Computerized Dentistry.
As of June 24, 2011, this service provider was highly rated on Angie’s List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check AngiesList.com for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie’s List.