If left untreated, dental emergencies can be painful and even lead to serious long-term effects. Most of the common issues result from either chronic conditions or acute accidents. To ensure the health of the affected teeth and tissues and the rest of the mouth, it is critical to get proper care immediately.
When to seek emergency dental care
Learning about the common types of dental emergencies helps people identify when one arises in order to take the appropriate steps to take care of their dental health.
Sports injuries or other accidents may knock out a tooth. To save the tooth, quickly pick it up without touching the root. Clean it off using water and gently put it back in the socket. Hold the tooth in place with light pressure, and get to a dental office or emergency room as soon as possible.
If the tooth cannot be put back into the socket immediately, place it between the cheek and gum or in a container with water or milk to keep it moist. For best results, treatment must happen within the first six hours. In the event of uncontrollable bleeding, seek care in the ER.
Painful infection at the root of the tooth or between the gum and tooth is known as an abscessed tooth. Trauma to the tooth, like a broken tooth, gingivitis or gum disease, may also cause an abscess. Untreated abscessed teeth are incredibly painful and can ultimately lead to the loss of the tooth or even a medical emergency. If experiencing a continuous toothache or shooting pain, fever, extreme tooth sensitivity, swollen neck glands or redness or swelling of the gums, consult a dentist immediately.
Damaged or infected gums
The gums, tongue or cheek may need treatment in the event of injury or infection. Falls from sports, accidental bites, scalding liquids or infection can damage the tissues in the mouth.
Clear any visible debris from soft tissue injuries and rinse with dilute salt water. Control bleeding by applying a clean, damp cloth with pressure. If there is a foreign body lodged beneath the gum line, try to gently remove it with floss or a toothpick. If it does not come out with those methods, consult a dental professional.
Most orthodontic treatments go smoothly and without major issues. However, orthodontic emergencies can occur. Look out for trauma or injury to the teeth, infection or swelling of gums or severe pain in the area with orthodontic treatment. Those who experience an orthodontic emergency should seek treatment as soon as possible. Visit the dental office for any broken or loose pieces of orthodontic hardware as well.
Dealing with dental emergencies
When treated in a timely manner by an experienced professional, the common types of dental emergencies can be managed. Do not put off treatment. Be sure to consult a local dental professional to assess and treat any potential emergency situations. Keep your smile shining and pain-free by attending regular dental checkups and seeking help whenever needed.
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