Monday, July 22, 2019

First-Aid Protocol for the Loss of a Permanent Tooth

As a child, losing a tooth was a momentous occasion marked by a special visit from the Tooth Fairy and a few dollars’ reward. The loss of a permanent tooth as an adult isn’t quite so exciting. It can be a frightening, time-sensitive experience, but knowing what to do during this dental emergency can improve the odds of salvaging the tooth.

Seek Urgent Treatment

A small clear glass of milk
Whether the result of a ball game, fist fight, or dental disease, the loss of a permanent tooth requires an immediate trip to the dentist (as in, five minutes ago). It may be possible to salvage the tooth, but only with immediate professional intervention. Without prompt attention, the tissue connecting to the tooth will quickly die, making it impossible to salvage. The socket could also become infected and lead to further complications.

Follow Proper First-Aid Protocol

There are a few steps patients can take to improve the odds of saving their lost tooth after this dental emergency. It’s important to note that the roots should never be touched or scrubbed; this puts the vulnerable tissue at risk. Instead, the tooth should be picked up by the crown. If roots are dirty, they can be rinsed with milk, saliva, or a saline solution.

After rinsing, the tooth should be placed back in the socket, if possible, and held in place using gauze or a washcloth. Storing the tooth in the mouth exposes the roots to saliva, which helps with preservation. If it can’t be stored in the mouth, it can be placed in a glass of milk for transport to the dentist. Avoid exposing the tooth to water, which can make it harder to re-implant. Next, it’s time to get to the dentist as quickly as possible for the best chance at salvaging the tooth.

Contact an Emergency Dentist

Most emergency rooms don’t have the equipment to re-implant a tooth, so opt for an emergency dentist in your area. If you’ve accidentally knocked out a tooth in Independence, MO, Hanson Dentistry may be able to help you salvage it with same-day emergency treatment. If we’re unable to re-implant your tooth, we may recommend dental crowns, partial dentures, or another natural-looking replacement. Don’t delay—call Hanson Dentistry now at 816-373-5606 for emergency dental services.

Monday, July 15, 2019

What to Do If You Have Sensitive Teeth

Tooth sensitivity is a problem for millions of Americans, who often have to deal with pain and discomfort on a daily basis. A study in the Journal of American Dentistry estimated that tooth sensitivity affects about one out of every eight people in the United States. A person suffering from sensitive teeth may experience pain when drinking cold or hot drinks or from eating certain foods. Understanding the causes of tooth sensitivity and ways to lessen it may help sufferers manage their pain.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

What to do if you have sensitive teeth photo
The root cause of tooth pain is the exposure of nerve endings in the layer of teeth known as dentin. Normally, these nerve endings are protected by the tooth's enamel, the outermost layer of hard protective covering. Over time, this enamel can wear away, and when it does, it exposes the nerve endings inside the root of the tooth. This exposure means that highly sensitive nerves can come in contact with liquids, foods, toothbrushes, and anything else that goes into the mouth. Protecting this enamel before it wears away is the best way to avoid sensitive teeth, but patients can take steps if they already have sensitive teeth.

How Can I Relieve Tooth Sensitivity?

Relieving tooth sensitivity is often a matter of cutting out a few problematic behaviors that wear down tooth enamel. Cutting back on acidic drinks like citrus juices and coffee is a good place to start. At-home teeth-whitening products that rely on bleach or other caustic substances should also be stopped in favor of professional teeth whitening. Patients can also use toothpaste specially formulated for sensitive teeth, brush their teeth in a gentle manner, and switch to fluoride-based mouthwash.

If you follow these steps to help relieve tooth sensitivity but are still experiencing pain, it may be time to speak with a dentist to see what other measures can be taken. Hanson Dentistry offers comprehensive dental services that cater to the full dental needs of each patient. Our patients appreciate the focused, personalized, and attentive level of care we provide. Contact us today at 816-373-5606 to schedule an appointment.