Need to treat dental emergency in the middle of the night?Five top tips by Meavy Way Dental Practice
Like most things in life, dental emergencies can vary in urgency.
While it is important to book a same-day appointment if you suspect you have an emergency dental problem, this can be somewhat tricky if it occurs in the middle of the night. Is it worth going to your local emergency department or can you manage it at home until morning?
At Meavy Way Dental Practice, if you suspect you have a dental emergency, we will endeavour to offer you a same-day appointment, to get you out of any associated discomfort as soon as possible. Our emergency dentist in Plymouth will carefully examine the area and prioritise pain relief if necessary, allowing you to feel more comfortable before any treatment begins.
But what can you do to relieve a dental emergency at home if you cannot visit our dentist in Plymouth until morning? Here are our top tips!
Identify the issue
This can be tricky if the underlying cause is not obvious, like facial swelling.
If you are able to examine your mouth with a mirror, try to look for any lost fillings, swellings or abnormal lumps that could be causing the discomfort. Identifying the issue will impact the following treatment steps you will need to take before you visit our dentist in Plymouth.
Clean the area
Regardless of the underlying cause, you will need to keep the area clean.
Rinse your mouth gently with lukewarm water to loosen and remove any debris or food. If you are able to handle a rinse with an anti-inflammatory mouthwash for gum disease, this can be beneficial too, as it will reduce any associated swelling.
Useful if you have an infection or a lost tooth, salt water is an easily accessible natural antiseptic option.
Gargling salt water can help to reduce swelling and can sterilise the area, preventing the infection from worsening or spreading. If required, gargle every hour, but aim to avoid swallowing.
Take pain relief
Of course, the first thing to do when you notice dental discomfort in the middle of the night is to reach for the painkillers!
However, if your discomfort is caused by swelling, try to take an anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen. If your emergency is caused by a lost filling or crown, then take a strong painkiller like paracetamol.
In the event of a painful abscess, if you have any clove oil to hand, place some onto cotton wool and apply it to the swollen area. This will temporarily numb the tooth and provide temporary relief.
Go to hospital
While it is important to know how to treat a dental issue at home, it can be life-saving to know when to go to the hospital.
Do you have a fever? Are you being sick and/or feeling dizzy? Do you have loose movements? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is time to get to your nearest emergency department; it is likely you have a severe infection that requires urgent medical treatment.