What qualifies as a dental emergency?
Dental emergencies are those which are either life-threatening, or involve extreme pain or severe bleeding. Any kind of tooth infection is also considered a dental emergency, and should be treated as soon as possible by a qualified dentist. A tooth which has been broken or knocked out and is accompanied by bleeding and pain is also usually a dental emergency requiring immediate attention.
Common Dental Emergencies
Some of the most common dental emergencies are those which involve severe pain to the patient, and this is often due to having an abscessed tooth which develops when a cavity is left untreated. Other common dental emergencies arise when someone suffers a severe oral injury while participating in contact sports.
Any patient who experiences a knocked-out tooth should pick it up by the crown (not the root), rinse it off gently, and try to re-position it in the mouth. Keep the tooth moist until you can see your dentist for emergency treatment.
Loose Tooth, Tooth Out of Alignment
Teeth which have become loose are generally considered to be a dental emergency. If you can receive immediate attention, there is a chance the tooth can be saved and will not have to be extracted.
Chipped, Cracked or Fractured Teeth
Whenever you have chipped, cracked, or fractured teeth, you should see your dentist immediately. This is necessary in order to prevent any further damage or complications.
Tissue Injury and Facial Pain
Depending on the severity of your facial pain or tissue injury, these situations may constitute a dental emergency. If you are uncertain, you should contact your dental office immediately and describe your symptoms, then your dentist will have a better idea about whether immediate treatment is necessary.
Other Dental Emergencies
Injuries to the tongue, lips, or other soft tissue in the facial area is one common dental emergency. A lost crown or filling, or damage to your braces generally also call for immediate attention to prevent the situation from worsening. Some patients also experience recurring bleeding after a dental extraction, and this calls for emergency treatment as well.
How to Avoid a Dental Emergency
Maintain good oral hygiene habits, which include regular brushing and flossing. Make sure to keep regularly scheduled dental appointments, so any developing issues can be identified at an early stage. Always wear a mouth guard when participating in contact sports, so as to protect your teeth from injury or harm. It’s also a good idea to stay hydrated, because your mouth needs a constant supply of saliva to maintain good oral health.
Tips to Prevent Sports-Related Tooth and Mouth Injuries
Wearing a mouth guard which fits your teeth snugly is one of the best ways to avoid mouth injuries. In some cases, it’s also advisable to wear a helmet, a face shield, or protective eyewear, so you don’t sustain harm to the soft tissue in the facial area.
If you are uncertain about an issue which may or may not be a dental emergency, it’s best to err on the side of caution and contact us at Ammons Dental by Design. If your situation isn’t really an emergency, we can schedule you for a regular appointment, and if it is, we’ll ask you to come visit us immediately for treatment.