While many dental issues can go without treatment for a short time while you wait to schedule an appointment with your dentist, some dental problems require emergency care to prevent tooth loss, severe infection, and other major health problems.
One of the most common dental emergencies is a lost tooth. Adults shouldn't lose any teeth, so any tooth that comes out of an adult's mouth is a dental emergency. If you seek emergency care immediately after you lose a tooth, your dentist might be able to insert it back into your mouth.
If you lose a tooth, pick it up by the crown, the visible part above the gumline. Don't touch the tooth roots as this can damage the tooth and may make it impossible to save. Rinse off any dirt or debris and gently place the tooth back in the socket in your mouth. Hold the tooth in the socket until you get to the dentist. If you can't place the tooth back in your mouth, keep it in a small cup of milk until you arrive at the emergency dentist.
If you have a chipped, fractured, or broken tooth, it's important to seek emergency dental care. The sooner you get treatment, the more likely it is that your dentist will be able to save your tooth. In many cases, a damaged tooth has internal damage as well as external. An emergency dentist can take an X-ray to determine whether the tooth simply needs to be smoothed out or whether you need a root canal or crown to save and protect the tooth.
If you damage a tooth, rinse your mouth gently with warm water. Apply a cold compress or ice pack to the outside of your cheek to minimize the swelling until you see a dentist or doctor.
Severe dental infections can lead to serious complications and could even be life-threatening, particularly if the infection spreads to other parts of your body. Many dental infections that require emergency dental treatment are due to an abscess.
It's important to seek prompt treatment from an emergency dentist if you believe you have an abscessed tooth or a serious oral infection.
Fever and severe pain are two common indicators that you have an abscessed tooth. Some patients experience facial swelling, headache, and tooth sensitivity to temperature. You may be able to see a small pocket of pus or a pimple-like sore on your gums near your tooth if you have an abscess.
Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be helpful until you seek treatment. Avoid aspirin if you believe you have a dental abscess, as it can increase bleeding.
Good oral hygiene and health help prevent dental emergencies before they happen. Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Floss at least once per day before you go to bed to keep food particles, harmful bacteria, and plaque off your teeth.
Visit your dentist at least once every six months for a checkup and professional cleaning. Regular dental appointments can catch problems before they turn into an emergency.
For more information, reach out to an emergency dental service.