Dental Emergencies And What To Do When One Occurs

Emergency dentistry is a branch of dentistry that provides immediate and effective treatment for various dental problems that require urgent attention. Whether it is a toothache, a broken tooth, an infection, or a lost filling, emergency dentistry can help you restore your oral health and prevent further complications.

Here is some information about dental emergencies and what you should do when one occurs.

What Is a Dental Emergency?

A dental emergency is any situation that involves severe pain, bleeding, infection, or damage to your teeth, gums, or other oral tissues. Some examples of dental emergencies are:

  • Uncontrolled bleeding from the mouth due to trauma, accident, or health condition.
  • Swelling of the face or neck that affects your breathing or swallowing.
  • Fracture or dislocation of the jawbone that compromises your airway.
  • Severe tooth pain from decay, infection, or nerve damage,
  • Abscess or pus-filled pocket in the gums or jawbone that causes fever, swelling, and pain.
  • Tooth loss or displacement due to injury or disease.
  • Cracked, chipped, or broken tooth that exposes the nerve or causes sharp edges.
  • Loose or missing filling, crown, bridge, or implant that affects your bite or causes pain.
  • Damaged or broken denture, partial, or orthodontic appliance that causes discomfort or injury.
  • Object stuck between the teeth or under the gums that causes pain or irritation.

How to Handle a Dental Emergency?

If you experience any of the above situations, you should seek emergency dental care as soon as possible. Depending on the severity and type of your dental emergency, you may need to visit an emergency dentist, an emergency dental clinic, or a hospital emergency room.

Here are some tips on how to handle common dental emergencies until you get professional help:

  • To stop any bleeding, swish a bit of warm water around your mouth and apply gauze with gentle pressure. 
  • To lessen swelling, apply a cold pack to the affected area.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen but avoid aspirin as it can increase bleeding.
  • If a tooth is knocked out, try to find it and rinse it gently with water. Do not touch the root or remove any attached tissue. If possible, place the tooth back in its socket and hold it gently with your tongue or finger. If not, store the tooth in a container of milk, saliva, or water with a pinch of salt and bring it with you to the dentist.
  • If a tooth is cracked, chipped, or broken, save any pieces and rinse them with water. Cover the exposed area with sugarless gum or dental wax to protect it from further damage.
  • If a filling, crown, bridge, or implant is loose or missing, try to find it and bring it with you to the dentist. Do not try to reattach it yourself as it may cause more harm than good.

If you are having a dental emergency, contact the office of an emergency dentist in your local area.