My Blog

Posts for tag: Dental Emergency

By Mendelson Family Dentistry, PA
July 13, 2016
Category: Oral Health
NoahGallowaysDentallyDangerousDancing

For anyone else, having a tooth accidentally knocked out while practicing a dance routine would be a very big deal. But not for Dancing With The Stars contestant Noah Galloway. Galloway, an Iraq War veteran and a double amputee, took a kick to the face from his partner during a recent practice session, which knocked out a front tooth. As his horrified partner looked on, Galloway picked the missing tooth up from the floor, rinsed out his mouth, and quickly assessed his injury. “No big deal,” he told a cameraman capturing the scene.

Of course, not everyone would have the training — or the presence of mind — to do what Galloway did in that situation. But if you’re facing a serious dental trauma, such as a knocked out tooth, minutes count. Would you know what to do under those circumstances? Here’s a basic guide.

If a permanent tooth is completely knocked out of its socket, you need to act quickly. Once the injured person is stable, recover the tooth and gently clean it with water — but avoid grasping it by its roots! Next, if possible, place the tooth back in its socket in the jaw, making sure it is facing the correct way. Hold it in place with a damp cloth or gauze, and rush to the dental office, or to the emergency room if it’s after hours or if there appear to be other injuries.

If it isn’t possible to put the tooth back, you can place it between the cheek and gum, or in a plastic bag with the patient’s saliva, or in the special tooth-preserving liquid found in some first-aid kits. Either way, the sooner medical attention is received, the better the chances that the tooth can be saved.

When a tooth is loosened or displaced but not knocked out, you should receive dental attention within six hours of the accident. In the meantime, you can rinse the mouth with water and take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen) to ease pain. A cold pack temporarily applied to the outside of the face can also help relieve discomfort.

When teeth are broken or chipped, you have up to 12 hours to get dental treatment. Follow the guidelines above for pain relief, but don’t forget to come in to the office even if the pain isn’t severe. Of course, if you experience bleeding that can’t be controlled after five minutes, dizziness, loss of consciousness or intense pain, seek emergency medical help right away.

And as for Noah Galloway:  In an interview a few days later, he showed off his new smile, with the temporary bridge his dentist provided… and he even continued to dance with the same partner!

If you would like more information about dental trauma, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Trauma & Nerve Damage to Teeth” and “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries.”

By Mendelson Family Dentistry, PA
June 09, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
DiagnosingtheExactInjuryisKeytoTreatingJawPain

Your lower jaw is an integral part of eating, speaking and other tasks involving the mouth. But what happens if you suffer an injury to one of the two joints that connect it to the skull? The result could be serious pain and the inability to bring the upper and lower teeth together properly.

The exact types of injuries causing the pain and disability can vary, like the displacement of a tooth or a group of teeth. Another is swelling in the joint space that prevents the head of the joint (the condyle) from fully seating in the joint space; you could also experience a joint dislocation as the condyle is forced completely out of the joint space. Either swelling or dislocation can prevent the back teeth on the side of the affected joint from fitting together properly.

Another traumatic injury is a fracture of the bone at or near the joint; one of the most common is known as a “sub-condylar” fracture where the break occurs just below the condyle and results in more severe pain than inflammation or dislocation. A more serious fracture may involve the joint itself.

To treat the symptoms properly, it’s important to determine which of these injuries has occurred. This requires a full examination, including x-ray imaging, to determine if the injury involves soft tissue, bone or both. In the case of inflammation, we would prescribe anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant medication. The latter is especially helpful because trauma often leads to muscle spasms that lock the jaw in place to reduce further damage (nature’s splint, if you will). A dislocation may also require gentle manipulation to seat the condyle back into the joint.

Fractures are treated generally by repositioning the broken portions of the bone into their normal position and then immobilizing them while they heal. Immobilization is accomplished by joining the upper and lower teeth together, either by external or internal means. The latter option requires a surgical procedure.

If you’ve suffered an injury that results in any of these symptoms you should contact our office immediately. Only a complete diagnosis can point the way to the proper treatment that will relieve your discomfort.

If you would like more information on the causes and treatment of jaw pain, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Jaw Pain — What’s the Cause?

By Mendelson Family Dentistry
March 02, 2011
Category: Mouth Care
Tags: Dental Emergency  

Dental EmergencyA toothache. A knocked out or broken tooth. A lost crown or filling. You can't always stop dental injuries from occurring, but you can help ease the pain and prevent additional dental damage until you can get to a dentist. At Mendelson Family Dentistry, PA, we realize accidents can happen, and when patients are prepared to handle dental emergencies, it can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth.

Easy Ways to Avoid Dental Injuries

  • Avoid chewing ice or hard candy which can crack teeth
  • Avoid ripping objects with teeth, such as sealed packages and tape
  • Avoid the risk of injury to teeth, gums, lips and tongue by wearing a mouthguard when participating in sports and high-impact activities
  • Visit Mendelson Family Dentistry, PA for regular check ups and cleanings

Whether you're at home, in the car or at work, when a dental emergency strikes, you'll want to be prepared. Until you can get into our Owings Mills dental office, following these basic steps can help relieve the pain, save your tooth and prevent additional damage. Before acting on any dental emergency, you should always contact Mendelson Family Dentistry, PA first to ensure safe and appropriate care.

Temporary Treatment for Common Dental Emergencies

  • Toothache: Rinse mouth with warm water to clean the affected tooth, and gently floss to remove food or debris that may be trapped between the teeth. If pain persists, visit a dentist for a thorough evaluation as it may indicate a cavity or infection.
  • Broken tooth: Rinse mouth with warm water; locate the lost filling or tooth pieces; and control swelling or bleeding with an ice pack and gauze. See your dentist as soon as possible.
  • Knocked out tooth: Gently place the tooth back into the socket if possible. If not, tuck it between your cheek and gum or place it in a small container of milk. Getting to your dentist within one hour of the accident with the tooth is your best bet for successfully reattaching the tooth to the supporting tissues.
  • Objects caught between teeth: Rinse your mouth with warm water. If that doesn't work, gently try to remove the object with floss. Avoid using sharp instruments that could injure or cut the gums. If the object can't be dislodged, visit Mendelson Family Dentistry, PA for professional assistance.

Temporary dental care is just that- temporary. It's important to seek professional dental assistance as soon as possible following an injury to your teeth or gums.

Fortunately, an unforeseen dental emergency can usually be prevented with early detection and preventative care. Practice good oral hygiene-brushing and flossing daily-and visit our Owings Mills office for regular check ups and cleanings. As a general rule, if your teeth or mouth hurt, visit Mendelson Family Dentistry, PA for a careful evaluation and proper treatment.



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Mendelson Family Dentistry, PA

410-356-4100
11300 Reisterstown Rd Owings Mills, MD 21117-1812