4 Ways to Avoid a Dental Emergency

Written by gpmadmin on . Posted in Dental Emergency, General & Preventive Dentistry, Oral Health

woman with toothacheNobody wants to experience a dental emergency but the truth is, they happen. While many times a dental emergency is unavoidable or is a result of an unexpected accident, your dentist in Rocky Mount wants you to know that there are some ways you can reduce your risk of a dental emergency

  • Don’t Smoke. One of the best ways you can not only reduce your risk of a dental emergency but also bigger oral health and overall health problems down the road is to avoid smoking or using tobacco in any form. Both smoking cigarettes and using smokeless tobacco increases the risk of gum disease, oral cancer, tooth discoloration, and tooth loss. 
  • Practice Safe Snacking. We’re not here to tell you to completely avoid snacking on your favorite treats. But your dentist in Rocky Mount does want to encourage you to practice safe snacking by limiting the number of times you snack throughout the day. Constant snacking exposes your teeth to food particles around the clock. This can continuously feed the bacteria in your mouth, which means the bacteria continuously releases acid. This acid can easily damage and weaken enamel and increases the risk of decay. You should also choose your snack foods carefully. Some snacks such as popcorn or nuts can increase the risk of an accidental cracked or chipped tooth thanks to hidden kernels or hard pieces. 
  • Don’t Chew on Things You Shouldn’t. Besides food, our teeth shouldn’t be used to chew on anything. This includes pens, pencils, fingernails, and even ice. These objects are hard and can easily cause teeth to chip, crack, or even break. If you find yourself chewing out of anxiousness or stress, try to chew away at a piece of Xylitol gum instead of your office supplies. 
  • Take it Easy on the Drinks. The best way to fuel your body and protect your teeth is to drink plenty of water throughout the day. On the other hand, beverages that are high in acid or sugar can expose your teeth to these damaging ingredients. Try to limit your intake of soft drinks, fruit juice, and even sports drinks. All of these beverages either contain a lot of sugar that can easily coat your teeth or are acidic and will wear away tooth enamel.

As always, brushing and flossing your teeth every day is a great way to remove bacteria that may have built up throughout the day. You can also rinse your mouth out with water after snacking to help get rid of food particles that would otherwise feed bacteria. But these preventive measures only go so far, and you should still see your dentist in Rocky Mount for regular checkups and cleanings.* 

If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, call your dentist. 

*At the time of publishing, the ADA has recommended the postponement of all preventive dental appointments. Please check your local recommendations.

4 Steps to Take if Your Dental Filling Falls Out

Written by gpmadmin on . Posted in Dental Emergency, General & Preventive Dentistry, Overall Health, Restorative Dentistry

woman getting dental fillingOne of the most common restorative treatments your dentist in Rocky Mount uses is fillings. Whether they’re specially crafted for you out of an amalgam (metal) or composite material, we want them to stand the test of time. If your bite isn’t right, then there’s a good chance your filling or dental restoration could fail or even fall out. 

If you have a dental filling that’s fallen out, there’s no reason to panic. We’re going to walk you through what you need to do in just four easy steps. Take a deep breath and read on.

Step #1 – Remove and Replace

If your filling comes loose, you must get it out of your mouth ASAP. You don’t want to run the risk of swallowing it or choking on the material. It might not be a bad idea to keep your filling and bring it with you to your dental appointment. Your dentist will be able to determine if it can be cleaned and restored, or if you’ll need a whole new filling. 

Step #2 – Take Action

If your filling is loose and comes out, it’s also important that you see a dentist right away. But if you’re unable to get to the office, you can take some preventive tips to help preserve your smile health. An unfilled tooth is a welcoming environment for harmful bacteria to make a home and destroy your tooth. Be sure to brush gently and carefully. Rinse with water to make sure you’re removing any debris. (Pro Tip: Saltwater works wonders. One cup of warm water and just a teaspoon of salt will do the trick.)

Step #3 – Find Temporary Pain Relief

Your Rocky Mount dentist would recommend that you take over-the-counter pain medication to help with any sensitivity or discomfort. Be wary and cautious of any temporary dental cement, as it can be messy and make your issue worse.

Step #4 – Avoid Certain Foods

Until you have a chance to see the dentist, it’s probably a good idea to avoid certain foods and drinks that could affect your damaged tooth now that the filling is gone. Stay away from hard or sticky foods that could get stuck in your tooth. Be careful with extremely hot or cold foods and drinks too, as your tooth will probably be a little sensitive. Keep your diet simple and soft until you see us!

If you have a filling that’s come loose, the best/first thing you need to do is call our Rocky Mount dental office. The simple steps above are meant to be a temporary solution to your dental issues. One of the first steps we’ll need to take is a thorough diagnosis and state-of-the-art photos of your smile. We want to understand why your restoration or filling failed in the first place. We’ll take a look at your tooth, and if it hasn’t deteriorated, we should be able to replace your missing filling. We may need to do a little preparation of the tooth, before getting it filled for you again. Either way, we’ll make sure you’re comfortable and pleased with the results!

If you have questions about how fillings work or if there’s something we didn’t cover here today, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re always happy to be your dental partner and make sure your smile gets the very best, VIP treatment – no matter what your dental needs might be!

“What Do I Do If I Have a Dental Emergency?”

Written by gpmadmin on . Posted in Dental Emergency, General & Preventive Dentistry, Oral Health

man with toothacheLike any type of emergency, a dental emergency can be serious, and you should act quickly. But not all dental emergencies require the same type of treatment. Knowing what to do if you have a dental emergency is key to successful treatment and easing any pain you have. At our dental office in Rocky Mount, we’d like to share some of the most common dental emergencies and how to handle each one.  

Broken/Chipped Tooth

What to Do: Clean your mouth and any pieces of the tooth you can find by rinsing with warm water. If you happen to be bleeding, apply a piece of gauze and pressure to the area to help stop it. A cold compress can reduce swelling and ease any pain that you may have.

Lost Filling

What to Do: Losing a filling will leave a hole in your tooth, which can be pretty painful. Get to the dentist as soon as you can. While you’re waiting, you can fill the hole with dental cement that you can buy at many pharmacies or grocery stores. Keep in mind this is a temporary solution.

Knocked Out Tooth

What to Do: One of the scarier dental emergencies is having a tooth knocked out. In this case, promptness is incredibly important. If you can get the tooth back into the socket within an hour, the chance of saving the tooth increases. There are a few things you should know when handling a knocked out tooth. First, only touch the tooth by the crown and do not touch the roots. Then try to place the tooth back into the socket. If this isn’t possible, store the tooth in a cup of milk or keep it under your tongue with some spit.

Toothache

What to Do: A toothache can come on suddenly but typically means a problem has been brewing for a little while. Reduce pain by rinsing with warm salt water, applying a cold compress against the cheek, or using a bit of clove oil to the sore spot.

See Your Dentist in Rocky Mount

Even though there are things you can do to help reduce pain related to a dental emergency, it’s still crucial to see your dentist quickly. Early intervention by a dental professional is the absolute best way to successfully treating dental injuries and should not be delayed.

If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, we encourage you to call our Rocky Mount dental office as soon as you can. We’re here to help.