Do you know what a dental emergency is? If not, you are not alone. Since dental emergencies differ from medical emergencies, it can be hard to distinguish when you are having a dental emergency. However, there are certain dental emergencies that require prompt attention for the best treatment outcomes, so you should always call your dentist if you suspect an emergency. Additionally, here are five of the most common dental emergencies that warrant an immediate call to your dentist:
Although not all types of tooth pain signal a dental emergency, tooth pain that comes on suddenly, is severe, or continues to get worse should be treated as a dental emergency. This is because pain like this can indicate a possible dental pulp infection. Without proper treatment, the infection will continue to spread and can result in the loss of the tooth. In some cases, tooth pain can also be caused by something lodged in between the teeth. Therefore, you should first try to floss to determine this is the reason for your pain.
Knocked Out Tooth
A tooth that has been forcefully knocked out of the mouth is considered a dental emergency and you will need to call your dentist immediately. When handling the missing tooth, be sure to never hold it by the root and to only touch the crown. You can rinse debris from the tooth with water, but be sure to leave any tissue attached to the tooth. In some cases, you may be able to stick the tooth back into the socket, however if this is not possible you can store the tooth in milk, water, or saliva until you can see your dentist. When it comes to saving the tooth, the sooner you see your dentist, the better.
A permanent tooth that has suddenly become loose is another cause for concern, especially if it is due to an accident or force to the face. With a loose tooth, you will want to avoid disturbing the tooth further and should bite down gently to keep the tooth in place until you can see your dentist.
A tooth that has become chipped or cracked is another form of a dental emergency. If your tooth chips, you should try to locate and collect any fragments. While a chipped tooth can be seen easier, some cracked teeth may be harder to see. In these cases, you may experience sudden tooth pain or tooth sensitivity. Depending on how deep the chip or crack is, your tooth may be at an increased risk of having bacteria enter it. For this reason, you will want to see your dentist as soon as possible to prevent a possible pulp infection.
Broken Dental Restoration
Despite the fact that dental restorations are durable and made to last a long time, they can still break or fall out sometimes. However, since dental restorations are protecting a compromised area of your tooth, it is important to have them replaced as soon as possible if they fall out or become damaged. Otherwise the restoration cannot properly protect your tooth. In some cases, your dentist may advise you on how to keep your restoration in place until it can be fixed.