When we were children, it was perfectly natural to lose a tooth here and there. It was just a part of growing up! But for adults, a missing tooth can be a little more stressful—it’s a dental emergency. What else is considered a dental emergency?
If you have a severe toothache, a missing or chipped tooth, or any blood around your gums, it’s considered a dental emergency. If you notice any of these signs, your first step should be to visit your dentist for emergency dental care.
What Classifies as a Dental Emergency?
A dental emergency is typically characterized by any degree of severe pain or significant bleeding in or around your teeth or gums. A knocked-out tooth, a sudden chip, a shooting pain—these are all classified as an emergency. These require immediate dental care to avoid turning into larger problems in the future, like infection or inflammation.
Most dentists count the following as emergencies:
- A severe toothache
- A knocked-out or loose tooth
- Broken or chipped teeth
- A lost filling or crown
- A sudden infection in or around the gums
- Any swelling in the gums
- Unexplained bleeding in the gums
In these situations, or any other situation causing severe pain or bleeding, you should visit your dentist as soon as possible. If you’re unsure whether your condition is an emergency, get in touch with your dentist—it’s better to be safe than sorry.
What to Do if You Experience a Dental Emergency
If you experience a dental emergency, it’s crucial that you act quickly. It can help to:
- Stay calm: This lets you make quick, rational decisions without panicking.
- Contact your dentist immediately: Explain the situation and request an emergency appointment.
- Manage your pain properly: Take over-the-counter pain relievers if you’re experiencing pain. It can help to apply a cold compress to the area to reduce swelling and inflammation.
If the tooth is knocked out, gently pick it up by the biting end. Try to avoid handling the root. Gently rinse it with water, but don’t scrub it! If it is safe to do so, try to insert it back into the socket. It may be uncomfortable, but it helps.
If you can’t re-insert the tooth, keep it in a small cup of milk or your saliva until you can get to the dentist. Try to touch it as little as possible once the tooth has been rinsed. This can help preserve the tooth and avoid potential problems like cross-contamination or infections. And if you get to the dentist soon enough, there’s a higher chance that the tooth will take root again.
How Can a Dentist Help with a Dental Emergency?
Remember: dentists are trained professionals and have experience in treating dental emergencies. When you visit for emergency dental care, our team will:
- Assess the situation: We’ll start by examining your mouth to determine how urgent it is.
- Provide relief if possible: We may be able to provide relief through local anesthesia or prescription medication.
- Perform appropriate treatment: Depending on the nature of your emergency, we may perform certain procedures to preserve the tooth where possible or re-insert it properly.
Once we’re done, we’ll discuss long-term solutions for avoiding a dental emergency in the future!
Tips for Preventing Dental Emergencies
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to guarantee that you’ll never experience a dental emergency. However, there’s good news: with some minor adjustments, you can take active steps to reduce the risk of experiencing an emergency in the future.
It can help to:
- Practice good oral hygiene: Make sure you brush your teeth 2 times a day, floss at least once a day, and use mouthwash! This all helps to kill bacteria in the mouth and keep your teeth healthy and strong.
- Avoid bad habits: Chewing on ice or eating chewy candies that are too tough can damage your teeth.
- Wear a mouthguard: When playing any impact sports, keeping your teeth protected is important.
- Never use your teeth as a tool: Using them as a tool, such as to open a lid, puts unnatural pressure and stress on your teeth.
- Try to avoid grinding your teeth: The wear and tear of grinding your teeth can damage them. A mouthguard at night can help with this as well.
And don’t forget to visit our team here at Ti Dental regularly! That way, we can catch potential issues early on—long before they’re an emergency.
Visit Your Dentist Often
Dental emergencies can be unsettling, but it helps to know what to expect and how to respond. Get in touch with our team here at Ti Dental if you believe you are experiencing a dental emergency. We’re here to help treat your dental emergencies and care for your teeth. Request an appointment with us today, and let’s work together to keep that smile bright.