A dental emergency does not mean that every time your teeth, gums or any surrounding tissue is in pain you must be rushed to your dentist there are actually times that a dental emergency may not even involve pain. Dental emergency can be such a broad term that it makes it difficult to know if your case is truly considered a dental emergency here are some cases in which you should immediately call your dentist.
1. Loose or Unaligned Tooth
If any of your teeth seem abnormally loose or unaligned then you should call your dentist and set up an emergency appointment being as your dentist may choose to splint the tooth to the ones next to it. While waiting very carefully use your finger to put it back but do not force it, you can gently bite down to keep the tooth from moving again.
2. Knocked Out Tooth
Another situation that could be considered a dental emergency is a knocked out tooth, if you take the correct steps after having a tooth knocked out chances are that your tooth can be reinserted by your dentist. While waiting gently rinse of the tooth and place it on a clean wash cloth. Do not scrub it and avoid touching the roots of your tooth.
3. A Tooth that Has Been Cracked, Chipped or Fractured
If you have a small chip on your tooth and it does not hurt then you can probably wait a couple of days for an appointment with your dentist but if it is severely chipped, cracked and or fractured then it is considered a dental emergency. A cracked or fractured tooth can mean that there is nerve damage and this may imply that it cannot be saved so it is crucial that you call your dentist immediately and set up an emergency appointment.
Meanwhile you are waiting you could be in a lot of pain so taking acetaminophen but not aspirin is recommended. Never ever apply any sort of a pain killer to the gum being as this can cause burn damage. An X-Ray will probably be needed in order to properly diagnose and if the damage is severe you may even have to undergo a root canal.
4. Tissue Injury/Facial Pain
Lacerations, puncture wounds and tears, basically any type of injury to the inside of the mouth this includes, cheek, tongue and lips can be a dental emergency. While waiting stop the bleeding and thoroughly clean the injured area, if the bleeding is profuse and does not seem to let up on its own you can apply pressure in order to control it. In these situations you should get to the nearest surgeon or emergency room as soon as possible in order to avoid complications.
Ask yourself a series of questions:
- Is the pain severe?
- Have you lost any teeth?
- Have you had any impact to the face and or mouth?
- Is there swelling and or bleeding in your mouth/facial area?
- Are you bleeding from your mouth?
- Are there any swelling, bulging and or knots on your gums?
If you can answer yes to one or more of the above questions then chances are that it is a dental emergency and you should immediately call you dentist. When you call him or her describe in detail what happened and what you feel so they can adequately advise you on how to proceed.
There are of course some simple ways to avoid dental emergencies such as wearing protective gear while practicing sports, avoid chewing hard foods or foods at extreme temperatures, take proper care of your teeth by brushing and flossing and of course visiting your dentist on a regular basis etc.
Sometimes when we feel a loose crown or experience any amount of pain we believe it to be a dental emergency but if advised otherwise just wait until your designated appointment. However if you do find yourself in a real dental emergency then immediately call your dentist, follow his or her advice carefully and remain calm, remember the calmer you are the easier it will be to follow the instructions and the better you follow the instructions the higher the chances are of you going through this dental emergency quickly and easily without unnecessary complications.
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