Dental Emergencies That Demand Immediate Attention

Dental Emergencies

Although some dental issues can be postponed until a routine visit, there are some that demand immediate attention. These include mouth trauma, extreme pain or bleeding, broken or loose teeth and loosened fillings.

Dental Emergencies do occur in dental offices; a study by Fast and others1 found over 50% of emergencies were syncope. It is essential that dental teams be prepared to recognize and manage these situations until a patient can be transported to a hospital.

1. Toothache

A toothache is a common dental issue and the reason behind millions of ER visits each year. However, it can also be a sign of a serious dental problem that needs immediate treatment. During an emergency dental appointment, the dentist will help treat the root cause of the pain so that you can have relief and avoid further complications in the future.

If a toothache is severe and doesn’t go away after a day or two, it’s time to see an emergency dentist. Tooth pain should never be ignored because it may indicate a more serious issue like a fractured or knocked out tooth. If the tooth has been knocked out, keep it moist with a piece of gauze or tea bag and try to fit it back into its socket, being careful not to touch the roots. A broken tooth that has sharp edges can cut your tongue, cheeks or gums so you should tape it down to prevent further injury until you see the dentist.

2. Broken or Loose Teeth

A broken tooth is another type of dental emergency that requires immediate treatment. Injuries resulting in cracked or chipped teeth can be painful, and if left untreated they can lead to further complications such as bone loss and infection.

Accidents such as falls or sports can cause injuries to the mouth. A loosened or knocked out tooth can also require immediate dental attention. Baby teeth are usually not a big deal, but adult teeth that are loose or knocked out should be seen immediately and treated as a dental emergency.

Loose teeth should be kept in milk or a saline solution until you can get to the dentist, and they are often saved when they are brought in within 15 minutes of being knocked out. It is important to replace lost adult teeth as quickly as possible to prevent jawbone tissue deterioration and change to facial structure, as well as to avoid problems with eating and speech.

3. Broken or Loose Fillings

Dental fillings are designed to last, but they can break down or come loose over time. This can be the result of a variety of factors, including eating hard food or grinding your teeth at night (bruxism). If a filling becomes loose or breaks, contact us for an emergency dentist appointment immediately!

Leaving a broken or loose filling untreated can lead to serious damage to your teeth. It also leaves a space for bacteria to creep into, which can cause more severe tooth decay.

It is important to understand what types of oral problems are considered a dental emergency so that you can be proactive in your treatment and care. Even though not all cases are treated during an emergency visit, it is still better to receive prompt treatment than to let the problem get worse. The longer you wait to see a dentist, the more painful and costly it can become. Moreover, the longer you wait to seek treatment, the more likely your tooth will require a root canal or other invasive procedures.

4. Gum Infections

Gum infections are often overlooked, but they are one of the most common causes for emergency dental care. Leaving gum disease untreated can lead to periodontitis, which can cause the loss of bone and tissue that support the teeth. This condition may require surgery to restore your mouth.

Gum infection home treatments include using a mixture of salt water and rinsing your mouth 2-3 times a day to help reduce swelling, kill bacteria, and relieve pain. Your dentist may also recommend antibiotic therapy, either in pill form or through direct injection into the gum infection site. In more severe cases, scaling and root planing treatment or gingivectomy (removing excess gum tissue) may be required.

A broken tooth is a dental emergency that needs immediate attention as it can lead to complex issues that require advanced dentistry techniques. Other dental emergencies include an abscess, severe pain or bleeding in the mouth, a cracked or chipped tooth, and impacted wisdom teeth that need to come out.