Whether it is due to a dental condition or injury, many people will encounter a dental emergency at one point in their lives. Here, our Airdrie dentists explain how you can recognize dental emergencies and what to do in these situations.
Any issue with your teeth, mouth, or gums that needs urgent dental treatment is considered a dental emergency. This could include:
Chipped, Broken, or Knocked Out Tooth
A broken or chipped tooth can usually be repaired but will need to be addressed by a dentist urgently. The dentist may be able to repair the fracture or chip with a filling, whereas more serious breaks may need a crown or root canal.
For teeth that have been knocked out, a dentist may be able to put the tooth back in place within approximately an hour of the incident. The tooth has a better chance of taking root again within this time frame. After the two-hour mark, the chances decrease significantly, and alternative measures will have to be considered.
If you experience a toothache you cannot manage with over-the-counter pain medication, first, apply ice to the area and contact your dentist as soon as possible, as this is considered a dental emergency.
A toothache could be a sign of a major dental issue, so it is essential to take them seriously.
A lost filling is also serious because it leaves the interior of your tooth exposed, making its structure weaker. It’s important to see a dentist and have the filling replaced as quickly as possible. You can protect the area until you get to the dentist by replacing the filling temporarily with a softened piece of sugarless gum.
Object Lodged Between Teeth
Objects getting lodged between the teeth can present a hazard and warrant urgent attention from your dentist. If you cannot dislodge the object with floss, do not use a sharp object to attempt to remove it yourself as this could push it further between your teeth - or injure your gums.
Bitten Lip or Tongue
If you bite your lip or tongue and the bleeding can’t be quelled, you need to visit an emergency dental clinic. In the meantime, apply a clean cloth to the part of the mouth that’s bleeding and press down. Use an ice pack to reduce swelling, and look for urgent dental care.
A dental abscess is a buildup of pus that forms inside the teeth or gums. This very painful condition usually develops from a bacterial infection, often within the soft pulp of the tooth or the root of the tooth. They can be caused by a cavity that’s been left untreated, severe gum disease, or perhaps a chipped tooth.
Symptoms can include anything from a bad taste in your mouth to swollen glands, pain, pus, or a fever. An abscessed tooth will usually need surgery to drain the infection and treat it properly. Treatment for dental abscesses can involve root canal surgery.