Dental emergencies entail a dental condition requiring a patient to seek immediate dental care to ease pain or save a tooth. Delays could cause severe or permanent changes to your dental health or lead to a more expensive and complicated treatment procedure. In addition, a seemingly minor dental issue can quickly escalate into a toothache if ignored.
Knowing if a dental problem is an emergency or not and what to do during a dental emergency can save you money and ease pain in the long run. Ignoring the aches and pains even for an extra day can be disastrous. Also, getting a proper diagnosis from an emergency dentist is the surest way to relieve pain and prevent more significant issues. A situation is considered a dental emergency if you need immediate treatment to prevent tooth loss, stop bleeding and relieve pain. A lost filling or crown is not necessarily a dental emergency unless the pain is severe. Dental situations may be an emergency if:
- You have an infection
- You are in severe pain
- You have wobbly teeth
- You have lost teeth
- You are bleeding from the mouth
- You have an excruciating swelling
- You have a jaw injury
What to Do
If you fit into the above criteria, don’t stress. Instead, remain calm and contact your dentist as soon as possible. Besides being painful, dental emergencies can be frustrating. However, you can take pain relief medicines to ease pain, apply ice packs to reduce swelling, and avoid panicking after contacting an emergency dentist. Additionally, avoid eating or chewing if you have a dental emergency. The following situations qualify as a dental emergency.
Adults should not experience tooth loss or wiggly teeth. Besides, their teeth have already matured into sturdy tools. It’s painful to have a knocked-out tooth. However, it would help if you didn’t dwell on the pain. Instead, call an emergency dentist as soon as the tooth gets knocked out and ask for guidance. The dentist will recommend what to do before arriving at the emergency dental office. It’s advisable to get to the dentist within 30 minutes of an injury or accident to save your tooth. Also, avoid touching the roots or cleaning them, and place the tooth or teeth in a glass of milk. If the tooth is not saved within a few minutes, you might require a dental implant. Accidents and sports injuries commonly cause a knocked-out tooth.
Another situation that qualifies as a dental emergency is severe oral infections like gingivitis. If you have a swelling around the jawline or under the mouth that causes pain or difficulty swallowing or breathing, you need emergency dental care. The bacteria causing the oral infection can quickly travel to the pericardial tissue. Also, oral infections cause excruciating pain that can interfere with sleep. Get in touch with an emergency dentist to treat this significant dental emergency, relieve pain, and prevent further oral health complications.
Cracked or Broken Teeth
A broken or cracked tooth can be very painful, necessitating emergency dental care. If you notice a broken tooth, first rinse your mouth with warm water. Also, place an ice pack on the side where the tooth cracked to prevent swelling. Since it’s a painful ordeal, prepare some pain-relieving medication as you talk to an emergency dentist. Your dentist might use a crown or filling or a root canal procedure to fix the cracked tooth, depending on the severity.
The best solution after a broken jaw or painful jaw is to call a dentist right away. It’s a major dental emergency because of the pain a fractured jaw causes and the possible consequences. Additionally, take pain medication to relieve the pain and prevent swelling by placing ice on your face. Finally, ensure that you avoid solid food until you visit a dentist to prevent more pain. The dentist will guide you on what to do after a broken jaw or for jaw pain.
Bleeding gums, tongue, or lips is a serious dental emergency that requires medical attention right away. Try putting an ice pack on the area to reduce the bleeding as you wait to see a dentist. The dentist might stitch the injury to stop the bleeding. Also, the dental expert can cauterize the tissue. Bleeding gums, for instance, can be a sign of gum disease. Similarly, swollen or painful gums require emergency dental care to catch the disease early and treat it. Gum disease treatment varies depending on the stage of the disease.
Foreign Object in Between Teeth
Some individuals use their teeth to bite anything. Therefore, they could hurt their teeth or have foreign materials stick between the teeth. You may use dental floss to remove the foreign material. However, if that doesn’t work, visit an emergency dentist as soon as possible. Avoid forcing the foreign material out of your teeth to ease the pain, and avoid damaging your gums and teeth. An emergency dentist will examine your teeth with specialized equipment and determine how to remove the object without causing pain or further damage.
Toothaches are among the significant and common dental emergencies. Tooth grinding and a possible cavity can cause excruciating toothache. Toothaches can be unbearable and shouldn’t be put off by taking painkillers. Instead, it’s best to visit an emergency dental clinic to relieve the pain and understand its cause. You may think that the toothache is nothing to worry about only to discover that it’s caused by a medical issue like one associated with nasal and ear tissues. Unfortunately, painkillers only provide a temporary solution, and it later becomes a dental emergency.
Preventing Dental Emergencies
Dental emergencies are among the most painful and severe ordeals you will experience. Therefore, learn how to prevent such ordeals or catch them early enough to prevent an emergency. Practice daily dental hygiene to prevent cavities that cause toothaches, tooth decay, and gum diseases. Also, wearing a mouthguard is vital in shielding teeth and preventing dental emergencies like cracked or chipped teeth. Routine dental visits and avoiding clenching or tooth grinding can significantly reduce the risk of a dental emergency.