While accidents are never welcome, they do happen. When they involve the mouth, however, it can be especially frightening. Dental emergencies need prompt attention, which may include a simple phone call to your dentist for guidance on how to treat it at home or an immediate appointment with an emergency dentist to save your smile. There are many types of dental emergencies, but many of them can threaten your appearance, compromise your oral health and trigger disruptive pain.
If you aren’t sure whether your dental problem is an actual dental emergency, it is always best to let your dentist decide. However, here are five of the most common dental emergencies as well as what you can do at home until you get to your dentist.
#1 Knocked-Out Tooth
Avulsed, displaced or “knocked-out” teeth need urgent care. In fact, if you see your dentist within the first 30-60 minutes after your accident, we can typically save the tooth through replantation. Be sure to handle the knocked-out tooth by the crown not the root. Gently rinse the tooth with water and do your best to keep it moist. This can be done by holding the tooth back in its socket or inside of your cheek or by placing it in a cup of milk or saliva.
#2 Loose or Partially Dislodged Tooth
Whether it is a bad fall or sports collision, trauma to the mouth can result in a partially dislodged tooth. In other words, the tooth (or teeth) has become loose but is not completely out. The good news is that there is a great chance of saving the tooth. You’ll need to gently put the tooth back in its original position and allow it to stabilize on its own over time. Ice and OTC pain relievers can be used for swelling and discomfort until you can see an emergency dentist.
#3 Severe Toothaches
A toothache can be a warning sign of several different dental issues, some of which need immediate attention. Try rinsing your mouth with warm water and gently flossing to ensure that a dislodged food particle is not causing your pain. If the discomfort persists, call an emergency dentist to further investigate your toothache.
#4 Sudden Swelling of Your Mouth or Face
Unexpected swelling can indicate infection, and infections need emergency treatment. Infected teeth or dental abscesses can not only result in unbearable pain, but they can threaten the health of your entire body if left alone.
#5 Chipped, Cracked or Fractured Teeth
Did you bite down on something too hard? When teeth crack or chip, it is not always painful. However, that doesn’t mean you can avoid the dentist. While some tooth fractures can wait longer than others, it is important to know that when the tooth is damaged, it is extra vulnerable to decay and infection.
We Can See You at Smile Design Studio
At Smile Design Studio, we are committed to providing patients with the highest level of emergency dental care. Please keep our office phone number readily available so that we can restore your smile as quickly as possible!