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How to stay calm in a dental emergency

Going to the dentist can be nerve-wracking at the best of times, never mind when an emergency arises.

From excruciating toothaches to severely chipped or lost teeth, these issues demand immediate attention, and it can be hard to keep a level head in the moment.

Telling you to stay calm is much easier said than done, though, so in this article, our experts at Shawlands Dental Care have put together some of our top tips on how to keep calm amid a dental emergency.

How to stay calm in a dental emergency - Shawlands Dental Care


What is considered a dental emergency?

The term ‘dental emergency’ covers a broad range of complaints, including:

  • Uncontrolled bleeding in the mouth – if you’re experiencing uncontrollable bleeding in the mouth, you should see a professional immediately.
  • Knocked-out tooth – if you’ve been involved in an accident and your tooth (or multiple teeth) have fallen out as a result of trauma, this is considered a dental emergency and should be seen to as soon as possible.
  • Broken tooth – if your tooth isn’t completely knocked out due to an accident, it might still be worth coming in for an emergency appointment. We class a broken tooth as a dental emergency.
  • Infection – a serious infection in the mouth, like an abscess, can be life-threatening. If your mouth is swollen, or you can feel knots in the jaw, you should have this checked out by a dentist immediately.

So, how do I stay calm?

Dental emergencies often catch us off guard, and we understand just how frightening they can be. The most important thing to do is stay calm, but we also understand that in the moment, you’re going to be anything but.

There are, however, a few things you can do to ease your anxiety until you’re able to get to your emergency appointment:

Know the facts

When you don’t know what’s happening, it’s only natural for your brain to start working overtime.

Learning as much as you can about your situation and listening to your body should hopefully ease your mind a bit.

It’s also a good idea to make a note of the symptoms you’re experiencing and when they started – to give to your dentist when you arrive. Not only will this help them determine what’s wrong and how to approach treatment, but will also help you organise your thoughts and relax a little.

Focus on your breathing

It sounds simple but focusing on and regulating your breathing works wonders.

Evenly distributing oxygen throughout the body can bring a sense of calm and control, even in emergencies.

Shallow breathing leads to an increase in blood pressure which, in turn, interrupts our ability to think clearly.

To naturally lower your blood pressure, inhale through the nose and exhale slowly through the mouth, counting to five as you breathe in and out and repeat these steps for at least five minutes or until you start to calm down.

Avoid alcohol and caffeine

Both alcohol and caffeine can increase anxiety levels during a dental emergency, so you should avoid them at all costs. This is both during and for a few days after you receive emergency dental treatment. Instead, make sure to drink lots of water to keep yourself hydrated.

Take it easy

The urge to rush during a dental emergency can be intense, but it’s important to take things one step at a time and go at a pace you’re comfortable with.

Going a hundred miles an hour will only lead to chaos and more panic – so allow yourself plenty of time to process what’s happening, gather all the information you need and talk through the next steps with your dentist.

Prepare for pain

One of the most daunting aspects of a dental emergency is the idea of pain. If you’ve suffered dental trauma, discomfort is to be expected, but to prepare yourself, you can take some over the counter painkillers before your appointment. Also, ask your dentist if they have any pain management methods, such as local anaesthetic or numbing gel available to ease any pain during the procedure if this would make you feel more comfortable.

Need Shawlands Dental Care today?

Looking for an emergency dentist in Glasgow?

The team here at Shawlands Dental Care are here for you.

With years of experience in dealing with emergency dental situations, we’re the ideal team to get your oral health back on track after a dental disaster.

If you have any questions about our emergency dental treatments, be sure to contact our reception team, or, if you need urgent intervention, don’t hesitate to call our emergency line on 0141 632 1378.

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