Just like any other medical field, the dental world has its own set of emergency cases. A lot of times, light or minor pain and discomfort can be put off until a later date (although you should never wait too long), but there are a handful of issues that require emergency attention.
To help get the word out, we’re listing five dental debacles that can lead to serious issues if they aren’t addressed as soon as possible. Fair warning, a handful of entries on this list can get pretty disgusting, but you should still be aware of their symptoms and what to do if you find yourself afflicted.
Broken, Chipped, or Cracked Tooth
A fractured tooth is one of the most common dental emergencies there is. Properly repairing this issue requires a skilled dentist and most importantly, instant care.
If you happen to fracture a tooth and can’t get emergency care right away, you should first clean your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to your face to reduce swelling. You can also take acetaminophen for pain, but be sure to avoid using a painkiller or numbing gel, as doing so can cause nerve damage to your gums.
Additionally, tooth fractures can be prevented by wearing a custom-fitted mouthguard during physical activities. Doing so can significantly lower the risk of traumatic injuries that result from collisions or falls.
A dental abscess can be a serious, life-threatening issue that occurs when a pocket of pus in a tooth begins to infect the root of your tooth. This can lead to symptoms like high fever, sensitivity to temperature, persistent toothache, tender lymph nodes, face swelling, and a pimple-like bump on your gums near the infected tooth.
If left untreated, this infection can spread to other areas of your body and make you incredibly ill. If you suspect you may have a dental abscess, you should seek out a dentist immediately. This condition often requires surgery to ensure the infection is drained and properly treated.
While on the way to the dentist, you should repeatedly rinse out your mouth with mild salt water. This will help reduce pain and draw infected pus out from your tooth root and gum area.
Knocked Out Tooth
Knocked out teeth can happen in a variety of different ways. According to Joe Simmons, a Doctor of Dental Surgery and a clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Dentistry, “There can be trauma where the tooth or teeth are displaced or knocked out, like falling off a bike or playing basketball.” Because of this, it’s important to seek dental attention as soon as possible.
According to the American Association of Endodontists, a dentist may be able to reinsert and preserve your tooth if you act quickly enough.
Should you find yourself in a situation where your tooth is dislodged, carefully pick up the tooth by the top and rinse it off without scrubbing. Be sure not to touch the root and get in contact with your dentist immediately.
Cracked or Dislodged Filling
Metal fillings are often used to seal off cavities and partially rotted teeth. They are designed to last a long time, but occasionally they can crack or become loose. This is bad news, because an open filling can leave your tooth especially vulnerable to new cavities and infections.
One of the most common symptoms of a cracked filling is a bitter metallic taste. If you’re experiencing this symptom for unknown reasons, you should seek dental attention soon. Leaving it up to chance can result in a slew of problems and eventually, a painful root canal.
Intense Toothache or Tooth Numbness
A severely painful toothache can be a sign of a serious issue. If you’ve been experiencing intense tooth pain for a long time, your toothache can turn into tooth numbness, which is a sign that an infection has spread into your gums or tooth root.
Mild toothaches can be treated with a variety of home remedies, but in order to learn the best treatment plan, you should first have your issue diagnosed. Luckily, the professional team of experienced dentists at Cirocco can accomplish this and can also treat any of the other dental emergencies on this list.
Don’t risk it. If you have a dental emergency, don’t hesitate to give us a call or contact us online as soon as possible!