When you’re enjoying the holidays with family and friends, the last thing anyone wants to experience is a dental emergency, but when a toothache starts or a tooth is chipped or broken, it’s important to know what to do so that you can act fast. Here’s what you should know about emergency dental care just in case something comes up.

Keep Your Dentist’s Number Handy

The first thing you should always do when there is a dental emergency is to call a dentist. If a tooth is hurting or appears damaged or broken, it’s critical to address it right away to ensure the best future outcome for the tooth. Emergency dental care isn’t something that can be handled at home, so it’s important to take it seriously and see a dentist as soon as possible.

When Your Dentist Isn’t Available

Sometimes emergencies have the worst timing, such as holidays. If that’s the case, your dentist’s office may be closed. Leave a voicemail so that they can be fully informed and respond as soon as they return to the office and check their messages. If the discomfort or damage is severe, check if they provide a number to call after hours for emergency dental care.

Preparing to See Your Dentist

Whether you’re able to see your dentist right away or need to wait a short time, if your tooth is hurting, you need to know how to manage it until you can get help.

Over-the-counter pain relievers can sometimes help to lessen the ache. Make sure to check with your dentist or primary care doctor before taking any medications and to only take the recommended amount even if your tooth is still hurting.

A bag of ice wrapped in a towel and applied to your jaw can also be helpful to provide some immediate and temporary relief of discomfort or swelling. Never apply ice directly to the tooth as that can trigger the nerves inside a damaged tooth, which can increase discomfort.

Don’t Ignore Severe Symptoms

If you’ve tried these options and the ache is unbearable or you’re experiencing serious symptoms such as fever, bleeding, swelling, or numbness, it’s time to use your dentist’s after hours number. A dental emergency is a serious condition and your dentist will want to help you feel better as soon as possible.

Call our Downtown Family Dentistry, Tahlequah, OK, to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.