When a dental emergency strikes – whether causes by a sudden slip and fall, sporting accident, or by a chronic disease – receiving the proper care for your teeth and gums as soon as possible will ensure the best possible outcome. Just like any other type of medical emergency, it’s vital to be aware of what to do before you actually find yourself in an emergency situation. Read on to learn what types of dental emergencies you may encounter, and how to be best prepared for them to ensure the best possible outcome.

Traumatic Dental Injuries

When a permanent tooth gets knocked out, it’s important to act as fast as possible to increase the chances of being able to save the tooth. If you accidentally knock out a tooth, carefully pick it up without touching the root structure. Then, gently clean off the tooth in warm water, and try to place the tooth back into its socket facing the correct way. Gently hold the tooth in place with light pressure, and make your way to the emergency room. If you can’t place the tooth back into its socket right away, place the tooth between your check and gum, or place the tooth into a container of cold milk while you make your way to the ER.

When a more traumatic dental emergency takes place, such as a tooth being moved or loosened, treatment needs to occur within six hours. If bleeding occurs that you’re unable to control, get to the emergency room as soon as you can. However, most dental emergencies aren’t severe, and include things like chipped teeth. If you chip a tooth, try and find all of the pieces of the tooth as it may be possible to reattach them. Make an appointment with your dentist as quickly as you can, and bring the pieces along with you.

Tooth Pain

Whether tooth pain is acute (infrequent) or chronic (frequent), this is a clear sign that you should visit your dentist. Tooth decay, a bacterial infection that can find its way into many different parts of your tooth and even your gums, is the most common culprit of tooth pain. Sometimes, tooth pain is a signal that the root of your tooth has become infected, which requires a root canal procedure – this procedure relieves the pain of infection from within the tooth, and also keeps the tooth from having to be removed. It should be noted, however, that not all tooth pain is caused by infection – sometimes it can be the result of a filling that’s become loose or a sensitive tooth. If you’re experiencing tooth pain, the only way to know the cause for certain is to visit your dentist. So, be sure to always make an appointment if and when experiencing tooth pain.

Gum Emergencies

Your gums are also subject to potential dental emergencies, and any injuries or infections involving the gums require fast medical attention. Accidental bites, falls, hot liquids or sports accidents can result in damage to the soft tissues of the mouth, and foreign bodies can become stuck in the gum line causing pain and potential infection. If gone without treatment, this infection can turn into an abscess, which requires immediate medical attention as your dental office.

if you experience dental emergencies involving the gums, rinse your mouth with warm water with a small amount of salt. If you can see any debris or small contaminants in your gums, be sure to remove these. If there is any bleeding, place a damp cloth or towel on the area for ten minutes. If the bleeding continues, make your way to the nearest emergency room.

If there is a piece of debris or a foreign contaminant stuck in your gum line, these can often be removed when slowly moved by dental floss or a toothpick. If this fails, be sure to get into see your dentist as soon as possible to avoid potential infections or other complications.

Orthodontic Emergencies

There are really only a handful of orthodontic emergencies, including direct trauma to the teeth, jaw, or face, or infections of the mouth and gums. High amounts of pain in these areas can also be considered an orthodontic emergency. If any of these complications occur, make an appointment with your dentist or orthodontist. If a piece of orthodontic hardware breaks or becomes uncomfortable, it’s best to see your orthodontist, as they are the ones who placed the hardware and are best suited to solve this issue.

Emergency Tooth Removal & Extractions

When you have experienced trauma to your mouth, it can be hard to tell when an extraction may be necessary, especially if you’re in pain. The most common reasons for tooth removal are crowding, trauma, and disease, and in an emergency situation tend to be sports-related injuries. In these cases, it’s best to come in as soon as possible. To identify if an extraction is needed, we will X-ray the area and create a personalized treatment plan. Your recommended treatments will depend on the location, type of injury, and how severe the damage is. If you are in pain or suffered trauma to your mouth, our team at SmilePro Dental is here to help!