Dental Emergencies
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My six year old son fell off his bike and his tooth was completely knocked out– what should I do?

It's important to see a dentist as soon as you can especially if the whole tooth came out. It is only in the first few hours that a tooth can be successfully put back into its socket. To preserve the tooth, place it in milk, or a cup of water with half teaspoon of salt, or in your own saliva. The important thing is to not clean the tooth with soap or any kind of brush as this may cause the delicate tissue surrounding the tooth to die, affecting the success of the reimplantation. Often times, only a part of the tooth has broken off. It's important to see a dentist as soon as you can as waiting too long can cause the nerve of the tooth to be damaged irreversibly, requiring a root canal procedure. If treated early, the tooth may only require a restorative procedure (such as a filling) with regular followup.

I'm pregnant and my tooth is bothering me. Should I avoid getting dental work done and getting dental radiographs?

As a general rule, it's obviously wise to limit use of any drugs that do not benefit the baby, and so it makes sense to delay any elective dental procedures until after the birth. There are situations, such as a toothache, where dental treatment should not be delayed. The safest and most comfortable time to do dental treatment is during the second trimester, when the baby's internal organs have already developed. Dental radiographs (or xrays) are sometimes needed to help the dentist understand the cause of the problem. They are considered safe if the exposure is minimal, for example, one dental radiograph is taken to determine the cause of the toothache. Dental anesthetic (or freezing) can also be used. As with dental xrays, it is considered safe as long as the dose is minimal . Pregnancy also changes the way your gums react to plaque and bacteria in the mouth, making them much more likely to be inflamed and bleeding if regular oral hygiene care is overlooked. This is an important time to maintain the health of your gums through regular cleanings. Your dentist or dental hygienist may even recommend that you come in more frequently during your pregnancy. In fact, a recent study showed that pregnant women who have gum disease are more likely to have a pre-term (or early) pregnancy – giving you even more reason to visit your dentist and hygienist during this time.