Dental accidents are common and as important as medical emergencies. Because if left unattended, some of the dental emergencies can affect your overall health. It is critical to seek emergency dental treatment when an accident occurs to save your teeth and preserve health.
The challenge that most people face is distinguishing what requires emergency treatment and what can be treated at home. In this post, we answer some of the common emergency dentistry questions.
What is Emergency Dentistry?
Emergency dentistry is a service offered to treat dental issues involving the gums, teeth, and supporting tissue. Dental emergencies, depending on the cause, may or may not cause any pain. Therefore, tooth pain should not be used as an indicator of whether to seek treatment or not.
What Situations Warrant an Emergency Dental Treatment?
Not all dental accidents are an emergency, that is why it is important to seek an emergency dental assessment. However, in general, some of the common dental emergencies to watch out for include:
- Knocked teeth
Knocked or avulsed teeth are common in both children and adults. The teeth can get partially or completely dislodged. However, regardless of the severity, knocked teeth should be treated by a dentist.
- Cracked and broken teeth
Decay, cavities, and eating high-sugar foods can cause the enamel to weaken and crack. A crown fracture can also occur after a trauma. Although not treated as a dental emergency, fractured teeth need emergency treatment if the pulp is exposed.
- A toothache
Toothache is common and rarely occurs without a cause. Decay, damaged filling, impacted teeth, and infected gums are some of the causes of teeth pain.
A toothache can be clear on its own with home remedies. However, if the pain persists more than 24 hours, then you should seek emergency dental treatment.
- Soft tissue injuries
Soft tissues in the lips, cheeks, palate, gums, and tongue can get lacerations. These injuries cause bleeding and lead to infections if left untreated.
- Severe tooth sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity can at times result from brushing too hard. But, the sensitivity may also be caused by, loose teeth, fracture, or decay. It is crucial to call the dentist if you experience sudden and severe tooth sensitivity that lasts for a few days.
What to Do When You Get a Dental Emergency
Sometimes it is hard to know how to handle a dental accident. Here are some tips to help ease the pain and stop bleeding as you wait for treatment:
- Keep the teeth moist if they are completely dislodged from the socket. You can store then in milk or any solution with cell replicating properties. Don’t touch the root of the tooth, but instead use the crown to place it back to the socket if possible. For a young child, don’t place the tooth back, but place it in milk. Seek urgent dental care whether the affected tooth is primary or permanent. Also, don’t forget to carry the primary tooth for assessment.
- Use warm water to rinse any debris and dirt from the mouth. Warm salty water can also help to relieve tenderness.
- Cold compress prevents swelling. Apply an ice pack on the cheek of the affected area, but not directly on the skin.
- Bite a gauze pad to stop bleeding
- Pain relievers can also help to ease the pain. However, avoid applying the medication directly on the gums to prevent inflammation.
- Seek urgent dental treatment within an hour of the accident, especially if the teeth are knocked out. It is easy for the dentist to save the teeth if treatment is started early.
- Do not try to pull the teeth or use soap water to scrub them.
How to Prevent Dental Emergencies?
Dental accidents are at times not preventable, however, there are ways that you can reduce the severity. Wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports to protect the mouth and teeth. Also, maintain proper dental hygiene and use fluoride toothpaste.
Lastly, visit Urban Smiles Dental the best dentist in Wicker Park for your routine dental checkups and cleanings to prevent decay and keep the teeth healthy.