You may not realize it, but a dental issue has the potential to become very severe if left untreated. This is why it is important to delineate common dental problems from actual dental emergencies. When you understand what constitutes a dental emergency, you are more likely to seek immediate help from an expert like Dr. Marvin Taylor, preventing further agony. Here is a look at problems that could warrant an emergency same-day appointment with your dentist.
What Is a Dental Emergency?
A dental emergency is generally defined as any situation involving facial bone trauma, severe pain, uncontrollable bleeding, and more. It is any condition where you believe your dental health or life is in imminent danger. In turn, emergency dentistry refers to the care you receive for such a dental issue. Most dental emergencies happen after a sudden facial injury or accident. Usually, your dentist will set a same-day appointment for a dental emergency rather than ask you to ride out the symptoms.
Common Dental Emergencies
Most, if not all, dental problems are often accompanied by significant pain, so it can be difficult to determine what is a dental emergency and what is not. If you are in doubt, you can always call your dentist and ask. Meanwhile, always seek immediate help for the following dental emergencies:
1. Knocked-Out Tooth
A knocked-out tooth is a dental emergency because you risk losing the tooth permanently, getting an infection, or bleeding significantly. If your tooth gets knocked out while you play, due to a fall, or in a fight, call your dentist immediately to set an appointment. Rinse your mouth gently with warm water and avoid pulling any attached tissue. If possible, try to hold the knocked-out tooth back in its socket. If you cannot, hold it between your gums and cheek or carry it in a container of milk. Lift the tooth by the crown and avoid touching the root. You can apply a wet compress for the bleeding.
2. Severe Toothache or Jaw Pain
Tooth and jaw pain can be so severe that it disrupts your day. If your pain is unbearable, try to floss between your teeth and rinse your mouth to see if you feel better. If you don’t, set an immediate appointment for a proper diagnosis. Your pain could be the result of an infection, in which case you may also experience difficulty swallowing, a sour taste, fever, and swelling.
3. Cracked Tooth
While not as serious as a knocked-out tooth, a cracked tooth is also a dental emergency. After you set your appointment, collect all the cracked pieces of your tooth and store them in a container with milk. Rinse your mouth and apply a cold compress to alleviate swelling and pain.
4. Dental Abscess
A dental abscess accompanied by pain from the pulp canal requires a root canal, drainage, or antibiotics to prevent rupture. Even after it ruptures, you need immediate medical attention to prevent further infection. You will know if you feel a rush of liquid in your mouth with a foul taste.
5. Bitten Lip or Tongue (Soft Tissue Injury)
If you bite your tongue or lip and it has not stopped bleeding, gently rinse the area with warm water, apply a cold compress for the bleeding, and call your dentist promptly.
Like most emergencies, a dental emergency can hit you when you least expect it. After taking the necessary precautions described above, contact Dr. Taylor’s Family Dental Center to set a same-day appointment with Marvin Taylor, DDS, and his team. The team of dental specialists will provide immediate treatment for your worrying symptoms.