Engaging in proper oral care is essential to keep your smile and health in perfect condition. But, even then, a sudden, excruciating toothache or a knocked-out tooth can happen. It can lead to distress, pain, and further complications.
They can happen at any time. Even if you’re a mouth-cleaning hero and taking exceptional care of your oral cavity, unexpected situations can happen. It can catch you off guard, and leaving things unchecked can make it even worse.
But when do such situations warrant emergency dental services? This article will explain some common dental emergencies where seeking assistance is paramount and critical to your oral and overall health.
Sudden Teeth Issues
Dental emergencies can be very varied, but some of the most common involve issues with teeth that were okay or seemingly okay right before the onset of the problem. Here are the most common ones.
Toothaches can have various reasons and indicate other underlying conditions such as tooth decay, cavities, infections, or dental trauma. When you have a toothache, you may consider it not too big of a deal to warrant a visit to your dentist, but that could be a mistake.
Ignoring the pain can lead to worsening the reason why it’s happening. For instance, if there’s swelling, you should go straight to the dentist and avoid common medication such as aspirin. It’s better to apply cold outside your cheek and get emergency dental care as soon as possible.
Broken or Knocked-out Teeth
Broken teeth usually happen when you bite down something too hard; besides aesthetics, it hurts. It can also expose sensitive nerves and lead to infections. It shouldn’t be left untreated because of such future complications. A knocked-out tooth is a more severe situation, which usually happens due to accidents or sports injuries.
If you have a broken tooth, act fast. Rinse your mouth with warm water, then apply gauze if it bleeds. This can help you make things more comfortable on your way to the dentist. If there’s swelling, you can use a cold compress.
Knocked-out teeth are more complicated. You can rinse the root, pick it by the crown, and even try reinserting it yourself without exerting too much pressure. You might even save the tooth if you do this within an hour. If you can’t, put it in a small cup with milk or salted water and go to the dental clinic.
Problems With Restorations and Orthodontics
Crowns, bridges, braces, and others enhance your oral health, but things can go suddenly wrong. Here are some common issues.
Lost Dental Restorations
If you have a crown or fillings, they sometimes can break and expose teeth to further damage. This can happen suddenly, but in the case of fillings, it might not be so apparent until other issues develop. You should inspect your mouth cavity regularly for any problems.
When something happens, you can use a piece of sugarless gum in the cavity, but don’t try to fix the tooth by yourself. Instead, place the crown or restoration in a clean container or bag and bring it to the dentist immediately.
Even though braces are made of metal and able to withstand everyday use, they can sometimes break and stick out, hurting your mouth. This is not only dangerous and painful but also detrimental to the straightening of your teeth.
While this situation needs assistance immediately, you can try bending the broken wire in a more comfortable position. If you can’t, protect your mouth by using orthodontic wax, a cotton ball, or gauze on the exposed end.
Infections in the Mouth
Even though the causes can vary, infections in the mouth pose a severe threat to oral health. These are called abscesses, and they can happen anywhere. When they’re at the root of a tooth or between the teeth and gums, they pose a serious risk to your health.
It can spread to the surrounding tissue and the rest of the body if it doesn’t get treated. They usually are a painful spot swollen like a pimple. While there’s nothing you can do to solve it, you can rinse your mouth and apply ice to reduce discomfort until you get to the dental office.
Many of these situations can happen unexpectedly, but even then, there are some things you can do to reduce risks.
- Eat carefully: Think before you bite. Even though human teeth are strong, they can break when biting bone, hard candy, and others. The same goes for biting pen caps, nails, and other non-food items.
- Use a mouthguard: If you’re into sports, especially those with a lot of contact between players, such as football, always use a mouthguard.
- Keep things clean: Naturally, to avoid abscesses and other conditions, the best thing to do is to properly clean your teeth after every meal and make periodic checks to evaluate whether there’s anything wrong.
While this advice will help you prevent many issues, they don’t replace proper dental care by a professional.