Most people will experience a dental emergency in their lifetime for reasons such as an injury or underlying health condition. Today our dentists in Manitoba share tips on how you can tell if your dental problem is an emergency and what you should do.
What is a Dental Emergency?
Dental Emergencies are any teeth, gum, or mouth problems that require urgent dental treatment. Specifically, this can include:
Broken, Chipped, or Knocked Out Tooth
Your dentist will usually be able to repair a broken or chipped tooth but it will require urgent dental care. The dentist might be able to fix the fracture or chip with a filling, whereas more serious breaks might need a crown or root canal.
For teeth that have been knocked out, a dentist might 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 of being able to place it back in decrease significantly, and alternative measures will have to be considered.
If you are suffering from a toothache that you cannot manage with over-the-counter pain medication, apply ice to the area and contact your dentist immediately because this is considered a dental emergency.
Toothaches can be a potential sign of major dental issues, so it is important to take them seriously.
A lost filling is also serious as it exposes the interior of your tooth, weakening its structure. It’s important to go to a dentist to have the filling replaced as fast as possible. Protect the area until you get to the dentist by temporarily replacing the filling 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 try using a sharp object to remove it yourself as this could push it further between your teeth or injure your gums.
Bitten Tongue or Lip
If you start bleeding after biting your lip or tongue and it can not be quelled, visit an emergency dental clinic. Meanwhile, 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 is a very painful condition that 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 a bad taste in your mouth, swollen glands, pain, pus, or fever. Usually, an abscessed tooth will require surgery to drain the infection and treat it properly. Treatment for dental abscesses could invlove root canal surgery.