Dental Emergencies: What You Need To Know
A dental emergency can be a frightening situation to be in. It could also be something you experience but brush off as not a big deal. Regardless of the sense of urgency you feel when you have a dental emergency on your hands, it is something that needs to be dealt with right away. Otherwise, your dental issues will continue to get worse, require more dental work, and longer recovery times to correct.
The best way to handle a dental emergency always starts with being prepared with knowledge. We’re happy to provide you with everything you need to know about dental emergencies, and what to do when you have them, and how our team can help you so you will be ready to handle any emergency situation.
What Is Considered A Dental Emergency?
There are a few situations that would be considered a dental emergency. When trying to figure out if an issue you are facing is a dental emergency, ask yourself the following questions.
Have I Lost A Tooth?
If you have lost a tooth, that would certainly constitute a dental emergency. If you act quickly enough, the tooth could potentially be saved and put back in your mouth.
Am I Experiencing Severe Pain?
Pain is always a clear indicator that there is something wrong. If you are experiencing severe pain in your mouth, then set up an emergency appointment as soon as possible.
Do I Have An Infection?
If you notice swelling or knots in the gums, or a swollen face, and are experiencing a fever, then you may have an infection in your mouth. A serious infection or abscess in your mouth is a potentially life-threatening condition and needs to be treated as soon as possible.
Do I Have Loose Teeth?
If any of your adult teeth are loose, that is a clear sign of a serious dental problem that could lead to the tooth being lost. Have a dentist check it out right away.
Is My Mouth Bleeding?
A healthy mouth should not bleed at all. If you notice blood coming from anywhere in your mouth and you can’t explain why it is there, then it’s a sign that you need emergency care.
What Situations Aren’t A Dental Emergency?
There are a few situations that may seem like an emergency that needs to be dealt with immediately. These specific situations can in fact wait a few days to be dealt with provided you take care of your mouth in the meantime. These situations include:
- A broken tooth that doesn’t cause severe pain or have sharp fragments that are damaging other parts of your mouth.
- A toothache without signs of an abscess that aren’t severely painful.
- Losing a filling or a dental crown.
What To Do During A Dental Emergency
Chipped Or Cracked Tooth
If you have chipped or cracked a tooth that is causing severe pain, the first thing you should do is call your dentist to set up an emergency appointment. While you wait for your appointment, be sure to:
- Rinse your mouth with warm water.
- Apply a cold compress to your check to reduce swelling.
- Take acetaminophen to minimize the pain.
- Avoid the use of numbing gels as it could damage your gums.
If you have identified symptoms of a dental abscess such as knots or lumps in your gums, swollen face, high fever, tender lymph nodes in your neck, toothache or tooth sensitivity, then you need to contact your dentist right away. If there is an infection, it could quickly spread to your jaw and surrounding tissues, or even other parts of the body, causing a potentially life-threatening medical emergency.
While you wait to see your dentist, rinse your mouth out with warm salt water several times to help draw pus to the surface and alleviate the pain in your mouth.
How To Avoid Dental Emergencies
The best way to deal with a dental emergency is, of course, to prevent them from happening in the first place. Take care of your teeth and gums by practicing good oral hygiene. That means brushing twice daily, flossing before bed, and rinsing with anti-bacterial mouthwash.
If you play a contact sport, make sure you always wear a mouthguard that is properly fitted to your teeth. A custom mouthguard will offer the best protection during play.
Finally, it is important to visit your dentist for regular checkups. Ideally, you should have an appointment once every six months. They can check your teeth for signs of issues that could lead to a dental emergency down the road. They’ll also be able to see if there are any loose crowns or fillings that need to be replaced. Getting your teeth cleaned while you’re here will also help to keep your mouth as healthy as possible and reduce your risk of abscess related dental emergencies in the future.
Trust Your Dentist
We’re experts in tooth replacement.
The dental team at Preston Dental Center always has your best interests in mind. We will always handle your situation with care and present you all of your options for tooth replacement. With our expertise, you can and should trust our recommendations for treatment, as they will always be the best options for your complete oral health.
Our Modern Facility And Technology
A modern, centrally located dental office that employs some of the most advanced dental equipment and instrument sterilization techniques makes Preston Dental Centre a unique health care facility. The warm inviting offices, natural light in every room and professional staff will all confirm that PDC is unlike any dental office you have visited before.