Lots of people will encounter a dental emergency, whether it is from an injury or oral health issue. Here, our Winnipeg dentists share ways you can tell if your dental condition is an emergency and the steps you should take.
What's Considered a Dental Emergency?
Any problem with your teeth, mouth, or gums that requires urgent dental treatment is a dental emergency. Specifically, this can include:
Chipped, Broken, or Knocked Out Tooth
Usually, teeth that have been broken or chipped can be fixed but they will need urgent dental care. The dentist might be able to restore the chip or fracture with a filling, where more serious breaks might require a root canal or crown.
If one or more of your teeth has been knocked out, your dentist might be able to put them back in place within about an hour of the incident. Teeth have a better chance of taking root again within this time frame. After the two-hour mark, the chances decrease greatly, and you will have to consider alternative measures.
If you are suffering from a toothache that you can't manage with over-the-counter pain medication, you will first need to apply ice to the area and call your dentist as quickly as possible, because it's considered a dental emergency.
Toothaches can be potential signs of major dental problems so it's essential to take them 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 and get the filling replaced as fast 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 Stuck Between Teeth
Objects getting stuck between your teeth can be a hazard that needs to be addressed by your dentist quickly. If you can't dislodge the object with floss, do not use a sharp object to try and remove it yourself because it can push it further between your teeth, or damage your gums.
Bitten Lip or Tongue
If you have started to bleed after biting your lip or tongue and arent able to quell it, 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 that 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 include anything from a bad taste in your mouth to swollen glands, pain, pus, or fever. An abscessed tooth will usually need surgery to drain the infection and treat it properly. Treatment for dental abscesses can involve root canal surgery.