We’re human. And even though we may want and wish for it to, we know that life doesn’t always go as planned or as expected. At HDG, we’re here for you when you have a dental emergency. We understand that experiences like this can be frightening, but our goal is to ensure that you’re treated in a caring, gentle and congenial manner. The most important piece to remember is to contact your dentist right away when you feel you’re experiencing a dental emergency.
Let’s take a look at what may be considered an emergency dental service and what you can do about your dental emergency before you’re able to get to the dentist:
Knocked Out, Chipped / Broken, or Infected Teeth
Our teeth can endure a decent amount of stress, but there are some triggers and incidents that can lead to your teeth getting knocked out, chipped or broken. Playing sports, riding a bike, getting into an accident, or even rough play in and around your home can lead to oral injuries resulting in a dental emergency.
If your tooth gets knocked out or dislodged, here are some steps that you can take to preserve and save your tooth until you’re able to get to the dentist:
- Prepare the socket where your tooth was dislodged from – this may mean treating it with gauze or a cotton ball to make sure it does not get infected.
- Put the tooth in milk – this may sound odd, but by placing the tooth into a small container with some milk, you can help to keep the root from drying out. Milk acts a good medium for storing knocked-out teeth because cells from the root surface don’t swell up and burst as they do when placed in water.
You may experience a chipped tooth by drinking from glass bottles or eating something very hard. If your tooth gets chipped or broken:
- Try to rinse and save the pieces, if possible.
- Call the dentist as soon as possible because if you prolong fixing a chipped or broken tooth, it may cause nerve damage and result in the removal of the tooth.
Remember, if not handled in a timely manner, the area of the knocked out or broken tooth does run the risk of becoming infected. An infection can lead to a tooth abscess (also known as a dental abscess), which is a pocket of pus caused by a bacterial infection.
Lost Filling & Crown Repair
It is not uncommon for a tooth filling to fall out. Here are some of the reasons why this may happen:
- Chewing too hard or biting into hard, crunchy foods
- Grinding your teeth (check out our blog post on bruxism)
- New decay has formed around the filling
- Tooth or root has experienced trauma
After you call your dentist, here are some steps that you can take once your filling becomes loose or falls out:
- If your dentist cannot see you right away, s/he will give you advice about protecting your exposed tooth from further damage.
- Keep the filling if you can; the dentist will determine if it can be reused upon seeing it. If you’ve lost a crown, your dentist may be able to re-cement it to your tooth.
- Make sure that you gargle with salt water to remove any existing debris and to keep the area clean.
- Brush very gently around the area where the filling came out.
- Try to avoid chewing around the area of the exposed tooth.
- Until you can see your dentist, use dental wax as a temporary solution to protect the exposed tooth.
Toothache Relief / Intense Jaw Pain
If you’ve ever experienced a severe toothache, you already know that pain is no joke. The pain of a toothache varies in severity, and it is often proportional to how significant the issue causing it is. Let’s take a look at some of the signs & symptoms of toothaches that require emergency dental services:
- Bleeding gums & inflammation: If you’re bleeding from your gums and experiencing swelling, it may be a sign of periodontal disease or infection.
- Persistent, sharp pain: This may mean that you have an abscessed tooth that needs immediate attention.
- Pain to the touch: If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity or pain when any level of pressure is applied to your tooth, you may have a severe cavity or a faulty restoration.
- Swollen jaw: If you’re experiencing swelling around your neck & jaw, this may be a much more serious sign of health issues occurring within your body; infection in vital areas can have life-threatening consequences – you’ll want to get this checked immediately.
These are just some of the oral health issues that may require emergency dental services. The bottom line is that if you’re experiencing persistent bleeding, severe mouth pain or any oral pain that is concerning to you, contact us immediately. You may feel anxious or alarmed, but we’re here to reverse the course of your discomfort and to put that smile back on your face!