A dental emergency is a potentially painful situation that no one hopes to experience. But what would be considered a dental emergency and what should you do if one happens to you.
What is a dental emergency?
If you are experiencing a dental emergency then you will require the attention of a dentist as soon as possible. Many of us will experience a dental emergency at some point in our lives, whether from a sports injury, chipped tooth, severe toothache or something else.
Here are some of the most commonly seen dental emergencies and what you should do if you experience any of these situations.
Severe toothaches can come on suddenly or gradually and can result in sharp or throbbing pain. If you have a severe toothache you are unable to manage with over-the-counter pain medication (such as ibuprofen), you’ve got a dental emergency.
If you are suffering from a severe toothache you should apply ice to your jaw, and go to your dentist’s office as soon as you can.
Object Lodged Between Teeth
If you have an object or food lodged between your teeth and you have attempted to remove it with floss with no success then you will need the help of your dentist in order to remove it. Do not use a sharp object to try and dislodge it, as you could injure your gums or push it further between your teeth.
Teeth That Have Been Knocked-Out
If you have a tooth or teeth that have been knocked out then you must try to see the dentist within the hour, if you can be seen quick enough then your dentist may be able to place the teeth back where they belong and save them.
Try and locate your tooth, rinse it off with water (do not use soap or chemicals), and put it back in the socket. If you are unable to place it in the socket, hold it in your cheek or place it in a container of milk.
A lost tooth is considered an urgent dental emergency, so get to your dentist’s office right away.
Lost Crowns or Fillings
If you lose a crown or filling, the tooth structure may be weakened as a result of the tooth’s interior becoming exposed. It can also be quite painful and sensitive. That’s why a missing filling is a dental emergency, and your dentist should repair your tooth as soon as you notice that there is damage.
Teeth That Are Chipped or Broken
If you experience a broken or chipped tooth then you should be able to easily have it fixed, the sooner that you can be seen by the dentist the better though as with all dental concerns. A small fracture can usually be repaired with a filling and more substantial breaks with a crown or root canal. If you have broken or chipped a tooth, make an appointment with your dentist to have it repaired as soon as you can.
Lacerations on the Lip or Tongue
If an injury to the inside of your mouth results in a laceration to your lip or tongue, this is considered a dental emergency. You can use a clean cloth to quell the bleeding. For any swelling, apply a cold ice pack to the area and seek treatment right away.
Dental emergencies are sometimes recognizable right away, and sometimes not. If you are unsure then it is important to contact a dentist as soon as possible.
Do you think you may have a dental emergency?
A dentist will be able to assess your situation and determine the best course of action.