Common Dental Emergencies in Emergency Dentistry
Emergencies can happen to anyone. The worst thing about them is that they can happen at any time of the day. This makes it important that you have a contact for your nearest dentist for cases of emergencies. Realizing which dental problems are emergencies and which ones are not is the tricky bit of dental care. It is not all dental problems that qualify as emergencies.
What Is Considered A Dental Emergency?
A dental emergency is a dental condition that requires urgent medical intervention. It should be a problem that cannot wait until the following day or for the official opening hours of a dental facility. Dental emergencies take different forms, based on which part of the mouth they occur. The only way to ascertain whether or not what you are experiencing is a dental emergency is to consider the severity of the issue relative to the urgency of treatment. Some of the issues that should be considered dental emergencies include:
- Escalated dental problem – if you have been experiencing mild symptoms of an oral problem, you should arrange for an appointment to talk to your dentist about them. However, if, for whatever reason, the symptoms worsen, it means that the problem has advanced to a different level. This advancement can cause severe affiliate problems.
- Excessive bleeding – bleeding is always a signal that something is wrong. Technically, the mouth is built to control and contain any sort of bleeding within it. If you are bleeding uncontrollably, you should reach out to an emergency dental facility as soon as possible, as this could signal a serious oral problem.
- Knocked-out tooth – a mature tooth is resistant to removal. However, with some force, it is possible to pull it out. In cases of injuries, the external impact can force the tooth out. The problem with this way of removing a tooth is that it is not careful and calculated. It could break the bone and hurt the gum tissue in that area. Considering this a dental emergency allows your dentist to fix your mouth and possibly save your natural tooth.
- Broken bones – the bone structures of your mouth help hold your teeth in place. When you are impacted on the outside of your mouth, it could break your jawbone, causing some fractures or leaving your mouth severely bruised.
- Jaw lock – if you are in the open mouth position and you have a hard time closing your mouth, it is called jaw lock. This could be a sign of the temporomandibular disorder.
- Severe toothache – a toothache can cause tremendous discomfort. It can result from a severely decayed tooth, or damaged nerves following an injury. Such pain can cut it as a dental emergency, particularly if it holds you back from going on with normal life activities, including eating and sleeping. This could be one of those situations that necessitate an emergency tooth extraction procedure.
Tips for Handling Dental Emergencies
When you have an oral catastrophe at hand, what you do to handle it within the first few minutes will determine the outcome of your oral health even after treatment. You cannot fully leave it for your dentist to correct. It is why the following enlisted tips will help you know what to do for different dental emergencies when they happen.
- Find the missing tooth – after your injury or accident, be sure to trace the missing tooth. There is a better chance of that tooth being replaced and restoring your cosmetic appearance if you can find it and secure it well. If you find it, avoid touching the root part of the tooth. Rinse it out with salty water to remove all dirt and disinfect it. You can try to put back the tooth to its socket if you can. If not, contact your dentist with your safely secured tooth.
- Gargle warm salt water – salted water helps fight infection. If you are bleeding or detect an infection in your mouth, rinsing it out with some salty water will help, before you can get to a dentist.
- Cold compress – a cold compress will help alleviate pain in your mouth. This is more so for patients who have bruised their mouths in an injury. It can also help reduce any swelling in the affected area.
- Use over-the-counter pain relievers – a pharmacist can prescribe the most suitable medication to relieve you from severe pain before you get medical assistance.