Dental Emergencies: What They Are And What You Should Do
DENTAL EMERGENCIES ARE NOT JUST ABOUT APPEARANCES
When you have a dental crisis on your hands, it is a stressful and painful experience, especially if you make the wrong decisions about how to resolve it. If you are lucky enough to have never experienced a dental emergency, you may not know what one is or how to handle it. In both scenarios, you should prepare yourself to handle a dental disaster when it arises for you or someone else. Our dental practice in High Point, NC can help you if you or a member of your family find yourself in one of these dental emergencies:
- PERMANENT TOOTH FRACTURE, PARTIAL, OR COMPLETE KNOCK-OUT
Regardless of how it happens (a fight or an unfortunate accident), a blow to the face can quickly become a dental emergency. This type of trauma to your teeth can cause tiny fractures, loose teeth, a chip, or the loss of an entire tooth. If a tooth is knocked out, you need to quickly get to a dental office or an emergency room for a dentist on call. Take the tooth with you (keep it saturated in saliva or milk) so hopefully the dentist can try to repair the tooth.
- SPORTS-RELATED INJURIES
When you send your kids to practice or compete in a sport, you make sure they are equipped for the action with head protection, proper team clothing, and equipment to do their best. Are you protecting your child's teeth from injury with a mouth guard? Think about all the opportunities your child has to have a tooth knocked out by a baseball, a kick on the soccer field, or an aggressive play on the football field. Plenty of kids have a tooth knocked out every year from participating in sports. Every sport presents the possibility of having a dental emergency.
This is not limited to children. You may also participate in activities like recreational tennis, biking, basketball, racquetball, and more. Many adults believe that an injury won’t happen to them, but even a little damage from a chipped tooth should send you straight to the dentist's office.
- WISDOM TEETH OR CUTTING TEETH
The wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt. This typically happens much later in adolescence and young adulthood. While the pain you feel might feel like it's a crisis, it may not constitute an emergency. However, if you have a fever or a swollen jaw, you should call your dentist to be seen as soon as possible to avoid infection and help with the pain.
When your child is cutting their teeth, he or she may also experience swelling, mild fever, and pain. If you suspect your child has an infection or another problem while they are teething, you may want to call and get the opinion of your pediatrician to be safe.
A dull ache in your tooth or gums generally does not constitute a dental emergency. However, when the pain is excruciating and you can't chew, think, drink, sleep, or relieve the ache with over-the-counter medication because of the constant throb, it is time to go to your nearest dentist in High Point, NC. A toothache is a symptom of a lot of conditions, so your dentist will need to identify the underlying cause before discussing your treatment. A toothache could be a sign of something as small as a cavity, but it could also be caused by something bigger, like gum disease or an abscessed tooth. The only way to find out and stop the pain is to pay a visit to your dentist as soon as possible for an oral health exam.
- UNCONTROLLABLE BLEEDING
Big or small, a gash in your mouth that will not stop bleeding is definitely a sign that you are having a dental emergency. If you have put gauze in your mouth and applied pressure for 15 minutes or longer, but the bleeding continues to persist, then you need to go to the emergency room or a 24-hour dentist for care. Keep constant pressure on the area until you get help and do your best not to move your mouth or lips in a way that will restart the bleeding.
- BROKEN CROWN OR BRIDGE
Of course, a trauma to the head can cause a broken crown or bridge. However, there are everyday scenarios that can cause your restoration to break, come loose, or fall out. Anyone who has broken a restoration from biting a popcorn kernel or pulled out a crown eating a gooey food, like caramel, knows that it can happen to anyone at any time. In these situations, it is best to save the restoration, and get in to see your dentist as soon as possible. When you're making your appointment, ask for advice on storing the restoration.
- ABSCESS AND SWELLING
An abscessed tooth can happen to anyone at any time, especially if there has been a trauma to the face. A true dental emergency, you need to have an abscess assesed and treated by a dentist. Causing a toothache, swelling, inability to chew down, and a fever from the infection, an abscess can quickly take a turn for the worse. If you choose not to get treatment, you risk losing the infected tooth, the teeth surrounding it, and the infection spreading to your jaw and bloodstream. A ruptured abscess can be a significant problem, so see a dentist in High Point, NC immediately.
OUR ADVICE: GET TREATMENT
Of course, there are many ways you may experience a dental emergency. We want you to remember that if you can't stop bleeding, you are in unbearable pain, you have lost a tooth or restoration, you have been hit in the face, you see swelling or a large bump in your gums, then you need to see a dentist or another medical professional in High Point, NC as soon as possible. Whether you are a regular patient of DentalWorks - High Point or not, our team of dental professionals will do our best to help you in a dental emergency and restore your oral health.
* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.