Patients who are dealing with severe dental issues may think they should go to the ER for emergency dental care. This, however, is often ill-advised, as it may not be helpful in providing the proper treatments needed and can result in other problems arising.The following are a couple of reasons why patients should not go…
What to do in a Dental Emergency
A dental emergency can occur in many forms. Some emergencies are more urgent than others, which means the timeliness of the steps you take following a dental injury will affect the treatment outcome. A dental emergency can affect any part of the oral cavity, including the gums, soft tissues, jaw and teeth.
Handling dental emergencies
When someone experiences a dental emergency, the following are the steps to take, depending on the nature of the incident:
A tooth can be dislodged or knocked out from its socket after a fall or while participating in sports. A knocked-out tooth requires immediate dental care. Generally, the chance of saving the tooth reduces after 30 to 60 minutes. If you have a dislodged tooth, see if you can locate the tooth and immediately contact the dentist.
Take the tooth by the crown and rinse with water without soap or chemicals. Avoid rubbing or agitating the tooth. If possible, try to put the tooth back into its socket; otherwise, store it in a container of milk or saliva. Patients can rinse their mouth with warm water and use a cold compress on their face to minimize swelling. Get to the dentist’s office immediately.
Broken or cracked tooth
A natural tooth can crack or break after biting into a hard chunk of food, ice or hard candy. It is often possible to repair a small chip with a dental filling. Also, the dentist can repair a big chunk of a broken tooth with a dental crown. Often, dental restoration allows the tooth to regain its appearance.
If a tooth filling or crown breaks, dental pain may occur. Large tooth fillings weaken the tooth’s structure. The weak tooth may develop cracks, and extraction and replacement might be necessary. Patients can manage pain from a tooth crack by taking over-the-counter pain killers. Since the broken tooth might have sharp edges, one can put chewing gum or dental cement over the tooth to protect it from hurting the soft tissues of the mouth.
Severe tooth pain
Root fracture can cause severe tooth pain since the roots contain nerves and blood vessels. The pain often worsens when eating or drinking hot or cold foods. Other causes of tooth pain include exposed tooth dentin, worn tooth enamel and severe tooth decay. In most cases, the problem causing the pain was there before the pain started. It is necessary to contact the dentist to have the teeth examined.
Tooth or gum abscess may occur after failing to treat a dental trauma, decay or gum disease. It is an abscess when a pocket of pus forms at the root of the tooth, sometimes causing pus to drain into the mouth; the pus has a foul taste. Some of the signs include throbbing tooth pain, foul breath and facial swelling. Without treatment, the infection will not heal and may even spread to other parts of the head and neck.
Reach out to the dentist
If you have experienced a dental emergency, contact the dentist immediately for further instructions. The earlier the dental appointment, the faster you can get respite and restore your oral health.
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