- by Dr. Karanjit Dhillon
- September 5, 2022
What is a Dental Emergency?
Dental emergencies are more common than most people think. However, all tooth problems cannot be labeled as an emergency.
A fallen out or chipped tooth, a toothache, or issues surrounding dental crowns can be severe dental troubles, but may not be called emergencies.
Being aware of the fact that what kind of dental emergency requires a dentist vs what types of emergencies require an emergency room visit can go a long way in not only saving the tooth but also protecting your oral health.
What are the Common Causes of Dental Emergencies?
Common causes of dental emergencies include:
- Falling off the bike
- Car accidents
- Sports injuries
- Accidents at work
- Tripping and falling
- Biting hard candies
How Does One Know That It Is a Dental Emergency?
All dental issues that one experiences may not warrant emergency dental care. However, any symptoms that can negatively affect your life or cause direct trauma to your mouth, teeth, or gums, or severe pain, should be considered as a sign to see your dentist right away.
One must remember that if not treated promptly, dental injuries can lead to even more serious dental and health problems so it is always advisable to get in touch with your dentist as soon as possible for an assessment so that you can be guided about a proper treatment plan or measures to ensure best possible results.
Which are the Common Dental Emergencies?
The dental specialist at Morgan Hill Dentistry explains that there is a substantial difference between a dental and a medical emergency, making it even more important to learn all about a dental emergency as it can help you save precious time.
A broad range of complaints, that may constitute a dental emergency include:
A painful tooth is not something that one should take lightly. Toothache can be a signal from the body that something is not right in the mouth.
A sudden and unexplainable tooth pain that is intense or progressively gets worse is a sign to find a qualified emergency dentist immediately, to find its cause, and to take care of the issue.
Common causes of toothache usually include pulp infections or something stuck between two teeth.
Swollen or Bleeding Gums:
Everyone can experience occasional gum irritation and it is not considered a dental emergency.
However, the gums that won’t stop bleeding especially when accompanied by pain and swelling, can be an indicator of an underlying dental or health issue that requires immediate medical attention. One must see the dentist as soon as possible in such cases.
Soft Tissue Injury
Immediate expert help should be sought in case of an injury to the soft tissues of the mouth including the lips, gums, inside of the cheeks, and tongue.
One must call an expert dental emergency clinic like Morgan Hill Dentistry as this may require urgent management.
Another potential dental emergency is a missing filling, which can cause the tooth to easily break or chip without the needed support, many times even exposing the tooth’s nerves, leading to several other possible dental problems that may require instantaneous treatment.
A tooth that is suddenly knocked out of the mouth due to a heavy impact can be quite distressing.
However, the dentist can be able to reinsert and preserve the tooth by taking quick action. Thus a tooth that becomes loose or falls out needs immediate emergency dental care.
A loose tooth should be tried and kept in the socket to prevent it from falling out. This can be done by gently biting down on the tooth to keep it in place.
In case of a knocked-out tooth, one must try to locate it and rinse it, handle it with the crown and store it in a glass of milk or water and take it to the dentist.
A dental crown that breaks or falls off entirely leaves the tooth exposed and vulnerable to infection and injury making an emergency dental visit necessary to replace the crown immediately.
Adequate professional attention on time can help avoid the need for a root canal or extraction.
A pocket of pus in the tooth sometimes leads to an infection called abscess which can prove to be a painful and potentially life-threatening situation.
Signs of a tooth abscess include fever, sensitivity to hot and cold, persistent toothache, tender lymph nodes in the neck, swelling in the face, and a pimple-like bump on the gums near the infected tooth.
This situation should be treated as an emergency to avoid the infection from spreading into the jaw, surrounding tissue, and other areas of the body.
Food or Object Lodged Between Teeth
A piece of food or another object lodged between the teeth where no amount of brushing or flossing helps is an indication of a dental emergency and one should see the dentist immediately as non-professional removal of the object, may cause the teeth to shift, gum irritation or gum disease, tooth decay, or even an infection.
Chips or Cracks
Biting down on hard objects, using teeth to open bottles, or an accident can cause chips and cracks in the teeth.
Grinding or clenching teeth can also make them susceptible to chipping or cracking. A chipped or cracked tooth is definitely a reason to visit an emergency dentist.
Tooth fragments, if any, should be rinsed, preserved in a glass of milk or water, and brought along to the emergency dental appointment.
Toothaches, chipped, cracked, loose, or missing teeth, soft tissue injuries, and missing dental restorations are deemed to be dental emergencies.
In case these emergencies happen to you or your family, make sure to see an emergency dentist at Morgan Hill Dentistry for immediate attention and emergency dental treatment.
It is advisable to contact your dentist right away in case of a dental emergency and not wait for symptoms to become worse or try to treat the issue at home.
Our expert team at Morgan Hill Dentistry is always available to provide care for a dental emergency. Contact us immediately if you experience a dental emergency and allow us to assess and handle the situation.