Dental emergencies often happen when we least expect them or when they are most inconvenient. Sudden pain can not only ruin your day but can be a sign of a much larger problem. And if you’re experiencing persistent bleeding, tooth loss, or a broken tooth, you should see a dentist right away.
Learn more about what constitutes a dental emergency, when you should see an emergency dentist, and how to avoid more severe problems down the road.
How to Know You Have a Dental Emergency
If you are experiencing a dental emergency, it’s important to contact a dentist as soon as possible. First, make sure you have your dentist’s contact information in an easily accessible place so that if you do need to call in an emergency, you don’t waste time finding this information. Typically, dentists make time to see patients who have dental emergencies even if they have other appointments.
The following are common types of dental emergencies:
Teeth can be knocked out by sports injuries or other types of trauma to the face. If your tooth has been knocked out, you should see a dentist immediately so that the tooth can hopefully be saved. Before going to the dentist’s office, the first step is to locate the lost tooth so you can bring it with you.
Avoid touching the root of the tooth and rinse it off carefully. If possible, try to place the tooth back into its socket. If that won’t work, then simply bring the tooth with you to the dentist in a container or cup of milk. The sooner you can get to the dentist, the better the chances are of reattaching the knocked-out tooth.
If the tooth can’t be reinserted, a dental implant can replace the missing tooth.
Occasionally, a tooth can be knocked out of alignment without being fully knocked out of your mouth. Try putting the tooth back into place with a slight amount of pressure, but don’t force it.
If you experience pain when biting or chewing, this could indicate a problem like an abscess. You might also experience pain from a laceration inside the mouth. If you are bleeding from the mouth, clean the area with water and pack it with gauze to help stop the bleeding. Other types of pain could include extreme sensitivity to hot or cold or persistent toothaches.
If pain is interfering with your daily living activities, call your dentist for an emergency appointment. To alleviate pain before seeing a dentist, you should take acetaminophen, which will not cause excessive bleeding like ibuprofen might.
To reduce the impact of emergencies, see your dentist for regular teeth cleanings and exams. They may be able to prevent pain by catching dental problems early.
Chipped or Cracked Teeth
A chipped tooth that is not causing pain is not a dental emergency, though you can make an appointment to see a dentist and fix the appearance of your smile. However, a cracked tooth can mean that there is more than surface-level damage. If the inside of your tooth is damaged, you need attention from a dentist right away.
When Should You See a Dentist?
If you’re not sure whether or not you should call your dentist, consider the following questions:
- Are you bleeding from the mouth?
- Are you extremely sensitive to hot or cold?
- Do you have a persistent toothache that will not go away?
- Do you have any loose teeth?
- Have you been hit in the face or mouth?
- Have any of your teeth been knocked out?
- Do you have any swelling in the mouth or facial area?
If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, reach out to a dentist today.
Contact Zeal Dentistry Today
If you are in need of emergency dental services, contact Zeal Dentistry. We’ll help relieve pain, diagnose your issues, and put your smile back together. Reach out to our team at 415.792.4771 to make an appointment today.