A dental emergency is just that: you need to see a dentist, and you need them right now. Some of the dentistry’s most common medical emergencies include chipped teeth, gum disease or tooth decay. Prevention is the best policy when it comes to your oral health, but you also need to know how to deal with an emergency. Promptly addressing a dental emergency can prevent long-term damage.
Below, an emergency dentist in Gillingham discusses the most common dental emergencies and how you should handle them.
It’s actually not that absurd to end up with a broken or knocked-out tooth. You could crash your bike, fall down a flight of stairs, or even get mixed up in a fistfight. As you can imagine, a knocked-out tooth hurts like hell. But, if you act promptly and carefully, the knocked-out tooth can be reattached.
Here’s how you should handle your knocked-out tooth immediately after the incident:
- Pick up the tooth by the crown; this is the part that’s usually exposed in the mouth
- Rinse off the root if it’s dirty. Take caution not to remove or scrub any tissue pieces attached to the root
- If you place the tooth back in its socket within an hour after the incident, there’s a chance it could be restored. However, we recommend putting the knocked-out tooth in a small cup of water with a pinch of salt and finding a dental clinic for restoration ASAP.
An infected tooth can sometimes qualify as a dental emergency. A bacterial tooth infection can result in a pocket of puss around the tooth, otherwise known as a tooth abscess. If this abscess is ignored, it may spread to your gums, damaging nerve endings and causing severe pain.
So how can you tell if you have a tooth infection? Usually, teeth infections manifest in a throbbing, persistent toothache. You can grab some Tylenol to ease the pain, but we encourage seeing a dentist immediately.
It’s not uncommon for people to dislocate their jaws from trying to take an extremely large bite or yawning too vigorously. Also, the jaw is pretty high on the list of most frequently broken bones in the body. Incidents such as traffic accidents, falls, and sports injuries could lead to a broken jaw. If you’re in this situation, it’s best to have a dentist address the problem. There is a significant risk of developing malocclusion or teeth misalignment.
An emergency dentist can diagnose potential long-term dental issues and recommend the best course of action. Your loved ones may swear by cold compresses, but you’ll still need to have your jaw looked at by a dentist.
Mouth sores could either be caused by canker sores or your braces leaving abrasions on your mouth’s inside. Canker sores are shallow lesions that occur around the base of your gums. Since canker sores are considered self-treatable, a dental antiseptic gel may not be adequate to deter infection.
We recommend seeing a dentist as soon as you notice mouth sores because they could be an early indication of gum disease. Gum disease is easier to treat when detected early. Allowing a dentist to treat your mouth sores also helps preserve your oral health.
Bleeding Gums or Teeth
Bleeding in the oral cavity is usually a sign of gingivitis or gum disease. If, say, you just started flossing, you may be used to a slight bleed between your gums and teeth from time to time. However, unexplained bleeding should be diagnosed by a dentist.
Saliva with traces of blood may end up being an indication of advanced gum disease or cancer, so you don’t want to waste time.
Easy Tips to Prevent a Dental Emergency
- Stop unnecessary chewing
If you have an oral fixation like chewing on pen caps or biting your nails, you could end up chipping or cracking your teeth. You can redirect your mind by chewing sugarless gum and keeping your hands busy.
- Use a mouthguard
If you’re into sports, wearing a mouthguard is a straightforward way to protect yourself from knocked-out teeth.
- Watch what you eat
Tough meat, and hard foods can break even the strongest teeth. Watch what you eat and ensure you aren’t putting undue stress on your teeth.
If you just suffered a significant impact on your mouth area, it is best to have an emergency dentist check for damage. Any pain, blood or discomfort shouldn’t be ignored either. We recommend having an emergency dentist on speed dial, just in case.