Not all dental problems are equal. While some issues are easy to miss and may not need urgent treatment, dental emergencies require immediate care. However, it isn’t always easy to know what is a dental emergency. Lovett Dental Gulfgate is here to help you identify and treat a dental emergency.
What Is a Dental Emergency?
Dental emergencies can take on many forms. While a blow to the face and teeth is an obvious indication of an emergency situation, other injuries and incidents may not be as clear.
When experiencing a dental emergency, you are likely to feel severe pain or bleeding from your mouth. This can occur as a result of an injury or a similar issue. Another factor to consider is the loss of a tooth. If your teeth are loose or one falls out, this is an emergency that requires emergency dental services.
Infection is another sign of an emergency situation. Having an abscess or infection in your mouth is a sign that you need immediate medical attention as this is a life-threatening condition. Symptoms like knots in your mouth or swelling are clear signs of an infection. As a rule of thumb, any situation that involves bleeding, severe pain, or tooth loss is an emergency.
Common Dental Emergencies
While dental emergencies are never planned, they aren’t uncommon. The most common dental emergencies include knocked-out teeth, chipped or cracked teeth, and abscessed teeth.
Knocked-out teeth often occur as a result of intense physical activity like sports. While this is a serious situation, a knocked-out tooth is salvageable if the individual acts quickly. If you ever experience a knocked-out tooth, be sure to pick it up as soon as possible as this increases the chances of reinsertion.
Carefully grab the tooth by the top or the crown, avoiding the root. Then, rinse it but don’t scrub it. Reinsert the tooth if possible. If this isn’t possible, put the tooth into a container with milk and get to a dentist immediately.
Chipped Or Cracked Tooth
With a chipped or cracked tooth, be sure to clean your mouth using warm water. Then, place a cold compress onto your face to treat the swelling. Consider taking acetaminophen for any pain, but avoid numbing gel or a painkiller as this can cause damage to your gums.
An abscessed tooth is another potentially life-threatening dental emergency. With this condition, a pocket of pus in your tooth develops, leading to an infection. Tooth abscesses can cause fevers, tooth sensitivity, persistent toothaches, swelling in your face, and pimple-like bumps on the gums or by the infected tooth. Once this condition spreads to the rest of your jaw and other areas of the body, it may be too late. Be sure to seek immediate help if you are experiencing an abscessed tooth.
What Isn’t Considered a Dental Emergency?
Just as it’s important to know what the telltale symptoms are for dental emergencies, it’s equally as beneficial to be able to pinpoint what isn’t considered a dental emergency. If you’re experiencing discomfort but you can wait to see your dentist for general dentistry services, this isn’t an emergency.
At times, what may appear to be an emergency situation may really be a concern but not an emergency. For example, chipped teeth that aren’t causing you pain may not require immediate dental attention. Likewise, toothaches don’t need immediate treatment if you are not in severe pain and are not experiencing an abscess, fever, or swelling.
Tips to Avoid Dental Emergencies
While dental emergencies like knocked-out teeth often occur by accident, it is possible to prevent other emergencies from happening by taking care of your oral hygiene through regular teeth cleanings. One of the best ways to prevent potential emergencies is to regularly visit your dentist. During your appointments, a dentist will check your crowns and fillings as well as look for indications of gum disease, infection, or decay.
Dental emergencies always require immediate action to minimize damage and protect your health. Avoid potential emergencies by taking care of your teeth and visiting a dentist on a regular basis. Contact Lovett Dental Gulfgate at 832.501.3191 to learn more about your options for treatment.