What is a dental emergency?
Any problem with your teeth, mouth or gums that requires urgent dental treatment is a dental emergency. Specifically, this can include:
Broken, Chipped, or Knocked Out Tooth
A broken or chipped tooth can usually be repaired, but it will necessitate immediate dental care. The dentist may be able to repair the fracture or chip with a filling, whereas more serious breaks may necessitate a crown or root canal.
A dentist may be able to replace a knocked-out tooth within an hour of the incident. Within this time frame, the tooth has a better chance of taking root again. After two hours, the chances decrease significantly, and alternative measures must be considered.
If you have a toothache that you cannot treat with over-the-counter pain relievers, apply ice to the affected area and contact your dentist as soon as possible, as this is considered a dental emergency.
Toothaches can indicate serious dental issues, so they must be taken seriously.
A lost filling is also serious as it exposes the interior of your tooth, weakening its structure. It’s important to see a dentist to have the filling replaced as soon as possible. You can protect the area until you get to the dentist by replacing the filling temporarily 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 use a sharp object to attempt to remove it yourself as this could push it further between your teeth - or injure your gums.
Bitten Tongue or Lip
If you are experiencing bleeding that can’t be quelled after biting your tongue or lip, you need to visit an emergency dental clinic. In the meantime, 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 which forms inside the teeth or gums. This very painful condition 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 range from a bad taste in your mouth to swollen glands, pain, pus, or a fever. Surgery is usually required to drain an abscessed tooth and treat it properly. Root canal surgery may be required to treat dental abscesses.