Painful, potentially dangerous oral health issues such as an abscess, a severe toothache, or a dislodged tooth, are usually classed as dental emergencies. In this situation, it is always best to try to get to an emergency dentist as soon as possible. However, the steps you take in the run-up to your appointment could have a huge impact not only on how distressing this experience is but also on whether or not you lose a tooth. Here are two things you can do to ensure that you are prepared to take the appropriate action,  should you ever find yourself in this kind of situation.

Create a dental emergency kit

Having just a few key items on hand can make dealing with the immediate aftermath of a dental emergency a lot easier. In your kit, you should keep some over-the-counter analgesics, as well as a bottle of clove oil (this liquid contains a chemical called eugenol, which has numbing and antibacterial properties). Both of these can be used to reduce the pain associated with a toothache or a dislodged filling.

A cold compress is another essential item that should be kept in your kit. When a person develops an oral infection or sustains a blow to the teeth, the soft tissues in their mouth and the affected side of their face often swell up. Applying a cold compress can help to reduce this swelling and has the added benefit of helping to temporarily numb the wounded area.

Learn how to react to a dental emergency

Educating yourself about how to react to a dental emergency is crucial; it can reduce the chances of you losing a tooth (if it is knocked out) and generally make the experience far less distressing.

If one of your teeth is dislodged, you should locate it and, after rinsing out the blood from your mouth, try to place it back into the socket immediately; this will reduce the chance of the root dying off before you get to the dentist.

If you cannot put it back into the socket, the next best option is to pop it into a portable container filled with salt water or milk, which you can then bring with you to the dental clinic. If a fragment of your tooth is chipped, it should also be stored in one of these liquids; provided you get to the dentist quickly, it may be possible for the chip to be bonded back onto the tooth.

If you develop an abscess, take some painkillers and apply a cold compress to the affected side of your face to reduce the swelling and inflammation. For more information contact an emergency dentist.