Although 72 percent of Americans have fillings, caps or crowns and one in six had a dental emergency during the past 12 months, most are not prepared to deal with dental care emergencies, according to a recent survey conducted by Majestic Drug Company, a leading provider of oral care products.
Interestingly, in the national survey of 1,000 Americans, those with a lower income (less then $35,000) were more likely to have had a dental emergency in the past 12 months (vs. 14 percent of those who make $100,000 or more).
Of those who had a dental emergency, 23 percent involved a loose crown or cap, 10 percent involved a lost filling, while 72 percent said their dental emergency involved something else.
Among those who had a dental emergency involving a loose crown/cap or a lost filling, 67 percent immediately went to a dentist, and 14 percent looked for a temporary solution to purchase, while 19 percent did nothing at the time.
“You keep medical supplies on hand for cuts and bruises, but what about your teeth? It’s important to be prepared for a dental emergency in case one happens, especially if Â the emergency occurs on a weekend or holiday when your dentist isn’t available,” according to Brian Gold, D.D.S., who practices in Monticello, NY.
Dental emergencies can range from a dislodged cap/crown or lost filling to a knocked out tooth to pain or a cracked denture. Majestic Drug Company explains some common dental emergencies and suggestions for treatment.
- Knocked out tooth. If you knock out a permanent tooth try gently replacing it into the tooth socket. Do not scrub the tooth clean—you can damage the fibers needed for reattachment. If that doesn’t work, place the tooth in a glass of milk to keep it moist. Get to a dentist immediately.
- Mouth pain. A throbbing pain from a toothache may indicate an infection and a dentist should be consulted as soon as possible. Tooth sensitivity can be combated by the use of desensitizing toothpaste such as Sensodyne. Irritation from mouth sores can be alleviated by the use of specialized oral pain relief products such as Orajel.
- Lost filling. Rinse out the cavity with warm water. Apply a temporary filling product such as Dentemp O.S. which can be made into a ball and pressed firmly into the cavity.
- Cracked or broken denture. According to Dr. Gold, all denture wearers should have a spare pair to use until the other is repaired. If not, it is good to keep on hand an emergency denture repair kit such as the D.O.C. Emergency Denture Repair Kit for an emergency involving a denture.
- Dislodged cap/crown. Apply a temporary dental holding product such as Dentemp O.S. and gently replace the crown onto the tooth.Â Make sure you get a proper fit.
- Irritation from Braces. Sharp wires can be coated with specialÂ dental orthodontic wax to protect your gums.
Remember, temporary dental solutions are just that—they are temporary. Make sure to seek professional assistance from your dentist as soon as possible.
Health ‘Bites’: 8 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Teeth
Oral health is often the window to your overall health. Evidence has supported the link between poor oral health and such conditions as stroke, premature birth and diabetes. Other conditions, such as HIV/AIDS and osteoporosis may show preliminary signs in your mouth, before other areas of the body are affected. Also, some of your daily activities or habits such as smoking or using chewing tobacco can affect your oral health. Therefore, it’s wise to pay attention to your teeth and gums.
Brian Gold, D.D.S., Monticello NY, and consultant to Majestic Drug Company, a leading provider of oral care products, provides this valuable insight into oral hygiene.
1. Survey shows Americans unprepared for dental emergencies. Although 72 percent of Americans have fillings, caps or crowns and one in six had a dental emergency during the past 12 months, most are not prepared to deal with a dental emergency, according to the survey conducted by Majestic Drug Company. It’s wise to have a product such as Dentemp O.S. on hand as a temporary repair for loose caps or lost fillings.
2. Bulimia and acid reflux can destroy tooth enamel. Bulimics are often able to hide the disorder from others but not from their dentist.Â Enamel erosion is a major sign of bulimic behavior. And acid reflux, whereby stomach acid flows into the esophagus and mouth, can cause tooth and gum erosion (possibly requiring tooth extraction and expensive restorative dental care).
3. Soda and citrus drink overuse can be caustic to tooth enamel. The average American drinks more than 53 gallons of soft drinks each year, more than any other beverage including milk, beer, coffee or water. Phosphoric acid in soda and citric acid in citrus drinks can cause tooth enamel corrosion and the sugar can cause cavities.
4. Excessive chlorine in swimming pools can erode tooth enamel. This can make your teeth more sensitive to heat and cold.
5. Many people don’t know they have bad breath. Dr. Gold suggests this test: Using dental floss or a tongue scrapper, sniff either the floss or the scrapper. If your mouth is clean, you won’t have a telltale smell.
6. Infection and trauma can cause tooth enamel defects. Nutritional deficiencies during infancy, antibiotic use such as tetracycline, high fever, and trauma can all lead to tooth enamel irregularities such as pitting.
7. Eighty percent of Americans over the age of 35 have some form of gum disease. It can range from simple gum inflammation, called gingivitis, to serious disease that results in damage to the bone.
8. One in four adults age 60 and older has lost all of his/her teeth. A good oral hygiene program should include twice daily brushing, flossing, eating a balanced diet, limiting between-meal snacks and regular visits to your dentist for professional cleaning and oral exams.
How to Make a Dental First Aid Kit
Nearly every household has some sort of a first aid kit filled with bandages, antiseptic, ointments and the like. But how many people plan ahead for dental emergencies?
“You keep medical supplies on hand for cuts and bruises, but what about your teeth? It’s important to be prepared for a dental emergency in case one happens, especially if the emergency occurs on a weekend or holiday when your dentist isn’t available,” according to Brian Gold, D.D.S., who practices in Monticello, NY.
While an emergency dental kit can never replace the care of a dentist, it can ease the pain and discomfort until you get to your dentist. Majestic Drug Company suggests keeping the following items on hand for a dental emergency and placing them in a convenient container for easy access.
- Temporary dental cement such as DentempÂ® O.S. which can be used to temporarily replace a filling or secure a crown.
- A dental pain reliever that contains benzocaine or oil of cloves such as Orajel.
- Sensitive teeth can be treated with special toothpaste such as Sensodyne or Sensitive.
- Ibuprofen such as Advil or Motrin can ease the pain from the affected tooth.
- Keep soft dental floss such as Glide or Reach on hand.
- For anyone with dentures a denture repair product, such as D.O.CÂ® Denture Repair Kit, is a must-have.
For additional information please visit Majestic Drug Company at www.majesticdrug.com.