Dental emergency

File:InfectedMolar0969.jpg
Facial inflammation from an infected left molar at one week.
A dental emergency is a type of medical emergency involving the teeth or gingiva. Pain involving these parts of the mouth, even when minor, can indicate a severe underlying problem that could worsen with time. It is important to contact a dentist as soon as possible for a professional evaluation to minimize damage to the teeth, gums, and supporting bone. Short-term action can be taken to relieve oral pain, which can be very severe.

Palliatives

Oil of cloves, which contains eugenol, can be used to treat dental pain; a drop can be applied with a cotton swab as a palliative. After wisdom tooth extraction, for example, a condition known as dry socket can develop where nerve endings are exposed to air. A piece of sterile gauze or cotton soaked in oil of cloves may be placed in the socket after careful cleaning with saline to relieve this form of pain.

Over-the-counter topical anesthetics containing active ingredients such as benzocaine or choline salicylate may be applied directly to the gum in order to deaden sensation.

Analgesics such as aspirin, paracetamol (acetaminophen) and ibuprofen are also commonly used; aspirin and ibuprofen have the additional benefits of being anti-inflammatories. Ice and/or heat are also frequently applied. A dentist may prescribe an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid such as Dexameth for pain relief prior to treatment. [1]

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