A toothache, bleeding gums, fractured teeth, knocked out teeth, soft tissue injuries, abscesses, broken crowns or fillings, and other dental problems are all examples of dental emergencies. Knowing how to handle these situations will help you avoid more serious medical conditions resulting from not treating the problem immediately.
What is a Dental Emergency?
A dental emergency is any situation in which your mouth needs immediate attention. Dental emergencies can range from minor issues like a cracked tooth to major ones like infection or dental injury. If you think you have a dental emergency, it’s essential to act quickly so that you don’t end up with a more severe condition.
What To Do During a Dental Emergency?
Knowing what to do during a dental emergency can save you time and money. The following tips will help you understand what to do if you experience one of the most common types of dental emergencies:
#1. Severe Tooth Pain
The most common type of dental emergency is a toothache. It may feel like a dull ache or sharp pain that worsens over time. In many cases, the cause of this kind of pain is tooth decay, mouth injury, and infection. If you suspect an infected tooth, rinse your mouth with warm water for at least 30 seconds. Then use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the area around the affected tooth gently. After cleaning, apply an ice pack to the area for 20 minutes. If the pain continues after 20 minutes, even after taking over-the-counter pain relievers, call your dental professional for advice on what to do next.
#2. Bleeding Gums
If you notice blood coming from your gums when brushing or flossing, rinse your mouth with warm salt water. This should stop the bleeding. Contact your dentist immediately if the bleeding is excessive or doesn’t stop within 5 minutes. Your bleeding may be caused by gum disease or a mouth injury.
#3. Broken Teeth
If you accidentally break a tooth while chewing something or hitting a hard object, collect the pieces of the damaged tooth, then rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm salt water. Next, apply a gauze pad on the area to stop the bleeding. Then, do a cold compress on the site for 10 minutes and head off to your dentist so they can examine your mouth and provide dental treatment if necessary.
#4. Broken Filling or Crown
Crowns or fillings are protective coverings placed over damaged teeth. When a filling cracks or breaks, it can lead to severe damage to the surrounding tissue. So, if you see that your crown has been chipped or cracked, take it to your dentist right away so they can repair the damage and replace the missing piece.
A knocked-out tooth can sometimes be saved if you act fast. The first thing you should do is try to locate the tooth at the site where it was lost. Once you’ve found the tooth, grab the tooth by the crown and not the root. Next, gently clean the tooth under running tap water but do not use soap or chemicals. Then, place the tooth back into its socket or place it in a glass of milk. If possible, hold the tooth in place until you get to the dentist.
#6. Abscessed Tooth
An abscessed tooth is an infection that has formed inside the tooth. The infection usually starts when bacteria enters the tooth through a crack or small opening. Abscessed teeth can cause severe pain and gum swelling. You may also experience fever, chills, and swollen lymph nodes near the jawbone. If you suspect your tooth is infected, rinse your mouth with salt water. Then, visit an emergency dentist immediately. They might need to perform a root canal therapy or tooth extraction to get rid of the infection.
#7. Broken Orthodontic Appliances
Broken orthodontic appliances, such as braces or retainers, can be a major source of discomfort and pain. If you notice that your braces are loose or broken, contact your orthodontist right away. In the meantime, you can use orthodontic wax or cotton ball to cover any sharp edges that may be causing irritation. You should also avoid eating hard foods and sticky sweets until the appliance is fixed.
I’m Not Sure if What I’m Experiencing is a Dental Emergency. What Should I Do?
If you’re not sure if what you’re experiencing is a dental emergency, it’s best to contact your dentist or an emergency dentist right away. They can help determine if the issue requires immediate attention or can wait until regular office hours. If you’re in pain, your dentist may be able to provide temporary relief until they can examine your mouth and provide treatment.
Some dental issues that may not require emergency care include small chipped or cracked teeth, mild toothache, and mild soft tissue injury.
How to Prevent Dental Emergencies
Some dental emergencies are inevitable, but there are ways you can do to reduce the risk of having one. Here are some tips:
- Brush and floss regularly: To prevent cavities and other oral health problems, make sure to brush and floss every day. Brushing twice a day helps keep plaque buildup at bay. And flossing once a day removes food particles that could otherwise become trapped between teeth.
- Avoid chewing on hard objects: Hard foods such as candy, ice chips, or popcorn kernels can chip, crack, or break teeth.
- Use a mouth guard for contact sports: Mouth guards protect your teeth during contact sports like football or hockey. So be sure to wear one when participating in these activities.
- Visit your dentist regularly: Make sure to schedule regular dental appointments with your dentist. They will help identify potential problems before they turn into major issues.
Visit Crossroads Dental Arts for an Emergency Dental Care!
If you think you have a dental emergency, call our office immediately for emergency treatment. Our emergency dentists are trained to handle all sorts of situations. We offer same-day appointments to help you get back on track quickly!