FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — Being that most dentist offices are closed for routine procedures during the COVID-19 outbreak, what should you do in case of an oral health emergency?

Well, before it gets that far, experts say simple oral hygiene can make a world of difference.
Being forced inside all day people may be tempted not to brush their teeth as often since they are home, but good oral health practices can benefit your overall health. 

“Emergencies are avoidable if you just simply take care of your teeth daily,” said President of the American Association of Endodontists, Dr. Keith Krell.

The American Association of Endodontists recommends maintaining a daily routine of brushing your teeth, tongue, and flossing twice a day to prevent tooth decay.  You should also use a mouthwash with fluoride. and wash your hands before and after brushing and flossing. Prevention is key and you can avoid general tooth decay, you can avoid dental emergency.

“Dental emergencies are usually because of decayed that’s allowed bacteria to the softer tissue that’s inside of the tooth that subsequently can cause the inside of the tissue to become infected which will result in what we term an abscess.”

Dr. Krell says high fever and swelling, and difficulty swallowing, consistent pain that’s not controlled by over the counter pain relievers are clear indicators of an infection.

Endodontist are all about saving teeth, and they are the best people to contact in case of an emergency. Emergency room doctors can’t adequately treat dental emergencies, and it takes them away from the bigger fight.

“It takes them away from patients that they can treat adequately an in this case, since we’re asking our first responders to take care of the COVID-19 patients, we really don’t want to distract them with anything that a dentist can take care of.”

To find an endodontist in your area, click here.