Dental Emergencies – How to Prevent Them
Dr. Padolsky is an Atlanta dentist who welcomes emergency patients and provides quick and effective care for any type of situation. At the same time, he believes in helping his patients prevent such emergencies so these situations can be minimized or eliminated. Prevention of dental emergencies is actually easy if you know what causes them and take proper precautions.
There are two basic sources of emergencies. The first source is the emergency created by an accidental injury. This is the cracked or loosened tooth resulting from impact to the mouth, or the chipped-off tooth coming from chewing on an unanticipated small pebble that was not previously washed out of the salad you are eating.
Here is a quick rundown of what you can do to prevent injuries or minimize their impact.
- Wear mouthguards when playing contact sports whenever possible. If you get hit in the face with a ball or an elbow, a mouthgaurd can diffuse the impact or at least minimize any damage that occurs.
- Wash your fresh produce thoroughly in water before eating. It needs to be done to flush out grit, small pebbles and rocks if for no other reason.
- Make sure you wear seatbelts and shoulder harnesses in the car when you are driving. The reasons for this are simple and obvious.
The second type of emergency stems from a long-term deterioration of your dental health. What pops up as an “emergency” is actually at the end of a long chain of events that were eroding your tooth, gums or jawbone over time. This is the subject of tooth deterioration and gum disease.
Tooth deterioration leading to cavities and erosion of dental enamel stems mainly from acids that eat away the structure of the tooth. One dietary promoter of these corrosive acids is sugar. As far as diet goes, eliminating sugar as much as possible will make a significant difference.
The main generator of tooth deterioration is bacteria that remains on the teeth after eating. These bacteria form a sticky biofilm known as plaque. (and sugar promotes bacterial growth at a very high rate). Without regular brushing and flossing, the plaque keeps building up on the teeth and down around the gum line. This bacterial plaque emits toxins that cause inflammation of the gums and erosion of the tooth structure.
Good oral hygiene practices are essential to preventing dental emergencies stemming from long-term deterioration and infection. And that includes regularly scheduled professional cleaning visits at the dentist, as even the best home oral care can’t clean away everything.
Dr. Padolsky and our hygienist provide thorough and gentle cleanings that remove this accumulated plaque and keep your teeth and gums healthy. They also educate you thoroughly on how to effectively maintain your oral health at home.
Adequate oral hygiene care is the best prevention of future emergencies.