By definition, an emergency is unplanned and unexpected. No one has any kind of emergency on purpose, but it can sometimes be prevented. Here are a few simple tips to help you avoid the pain, inconvenience, and expense of sudden dental trouble.

Wear a mouth guard

Mouth guards are dental appliances designed to protect your teeth. They are fabricated of a composite material, and customized for a secure fit. It is recommended that anyone playing contact sports, or participating in high-impact activities wear a mouth guard, to prevent broken or dislodged teeth.

A different type of mouth guard is recommended if you clench your jaws or grind your teeth during sleep. Called a night guard, this appliance prevents contact between teeth, therefore eliminating the wear and risk of fracture. Teeth grinding can be a factor in TMD, and in worn down or cracked teeth, which can promote decay and infection.

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See a dentist regularly

It is often said that “the best cure is prevention,” and this statement holds true for many dental problems. Regular professional cleanings can reduce your chances of decay, infection, and toothaches. Additionally, correcting problems when they first appear (like getting a root canal, or replacing a loose filling), can prevent them from escalating to emergency stage. A weakened tooth can be protected with a crown, preventing a sudden and painful break.

Follow recommendations

If you have dental work such as a fixed bridge or braces, your dentist will advise you of the “dos and don’t s” as well as proper cleaning and care. Eating the wrong foods (usually too hard or sticky) can break or loosen some restorations. Infrequent or incomplete cleaning can lead to decay around and under a fillings and crowns. Decay can cause infection of the root, one of the most common causes of sudden toothaches. It can also cause the bond on your fillings to fail, because the underling tooth tissue is no longer solid. Following your dentist’s advice can save you the pain and expense of a failed restoration or appliance.

Unfortunately, there are times when all precautionary measures fail. That is why Dr. Dietrich, of Pleasant Dental®, provides emergency dental care for Dolton and Chicago area residents. If you have an emergency, or are overdue for your semi-annual preventive dental checkup, call us at (708) 576-1900.


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