Dental emergencies can occur at any time of day or night. Being able to identify them when they occur can make the difference between salvaging a tooth or jaw, or losing it. Below are some dental emergencies that require immediate attention should they happen.
1. A Tooth That Is Knocked Out
A knocked-out tooth, also known as an avulsed tooth, is a major dental emergency. It's advisable to see an emergency dentist within an hour to best salvage it. Ensure you do not touch its roots. Instead, hold on to the white part that is seen in your mouth (the crown). If you can't put it back into its socket in your gum, then rinse it if possible. Alternatively, place it in a container with water. If an emergency dentist can't salvage the tooth completely, dental implants or bridges are options you can consider.
2. When the Tooth Filling Comes Out
A dental filling isn't permanent and after consistent chewing and brushing it can fall out. You will know that this has happened if you experience extreme sensitivity when chewing with the particular tooth. Lack of replacement filling can lead to an infection. If you're unable to visit an emergency dentist immediately, you can use dental cement to fill in the now exposed cavity. Sugarless gum works as an alternative as well.
3. Persistent, Severe Tooth Pain
Regular tooth pain that is severe can indicate a potential bacterial infection or abscess. If you don't treat it promptly, it can lead to bacteria getting into your bloodstream and poisoning your body. A dentist might recommend a root canal or extraction if they can't salvage the affected tooth.
4. When You Notice a Cracked Tooth
Cavities left to develop weaken the tooth causing it to crack or chip if you bite something hard. If the cracking extends to its root, it can cause a lot of pain and eventually lead to an infection if not attended to.
5. When the Jaw Breaks or Dislocates
Accidents or injuries can lead to a broken or dislocated jaw. If not treated promptly it can cause eating and breathing difficulties. Consult an emergency dentist as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
Visiting an emergency dentist as soon as a grievous and unexpected dental situation arises is critical to being able to save a tooth, gum or jaw. Understand the different emergencies and how to handle them before an emergency dental visit.