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Dental emergency

Dental emergency

Whenever you face a dental problem, your first contact should be your dentist. However, you may think twice about contacting your dentist when you have a dental issue during holidays, weekends, or at midnight. In some instances, especially when you have an emergency dental need, you need immediate attention regardless of when the problem arises. Still, you need to know what is considered a dental emergency to seek the proper care. Understanding the difference between regular dental issues and emergency dental needs is crucial for your oral and general health.

What is a dental emergency?

Dental emergencies are quite common, and many people have experienced a dental emergency at some point in their lives. Although many people experience different dental problems, not all of them are dental emergencies. To determine whether your dental problem needs immediate care, consider the following questions;
  • Have I lost a tooth? If yes, you need immediate treatment to save the tooth
  • Are you experiencing severe oral pain? When severe pain and bleeding occurs, you need to locate an emergency dentist immediately
  • Do I have an infection? A swollen face or gum may indicate an infection, and a severe infection or abscess in the mouth may be life-threatening
  • Do I have a loose tooth? Even if your loose tooth does not cause pain, you need emergency dental care
  • Is my mouth bleeding? Bleeding from your mouth requires immediate dental attention
Generally, any dental problem that causes discomfort and needs immediate dental treatment to alleviate pain, save the affected tooth or prevent bleeding is a dental emergency. If you have these dental issues, ensure you locate the nearest emergency dentist for appropriate dental care.

Non-dental emergencies

If you have a dental condition that doesn’t interrupt your normal activities and causes no discomfort, you may not need an emergency dentist. In most cases, dental issues that seem critical may not need immediate dental care if you take proper care of yourself. The following dental conditions may not require immediate dental care;
  • A broken tooth is only an emergency if it leaves sharp edges or fragments in the mouth and causes severe pain. If it does not cause pain, you can wait a few days before visiting a dentist
  • Mild toothache with no abscess, but you may need emergency dental care if you have bumps on your gums, swelling or high fever
  • Missing crown or filling – you can try placing the crown with an over-the-counter cement or a denture adhesive while you schedule an appointment with our dentist. If you lost a filling, try replacing it temporarily with a piece of sugar-free gum

What to do during common dental emergencies

If you experience the following dental emergencies, here are some first-aid tips to help you before you see the emergency dentist;
  • Knocked-out tooth
Taking quick and proper action after losing a tooth can save it. If your tooth got knocked out, do the following;
  • Carefully pick it by the top part and avoid touching the root
  • Rinse the tooth carefully, but don’t scrub it
  • If you can, try reinserting it in the tooth socket
  • If you can’t insert the tooth in its socket, place it in a glass of milk and visit your dentist immediately

Chipped or cracked tooth

Generally, chipped teeth that don’t cause pain is not a dental emergency. However, you have to be careful while chewing to prevent further chipping. A cracked or chipped tooth may also be an emergency if the crack or chip reaches the inner part of the tooth. In cases of an extreme crack or chip, the tooth may require removal. If your fractured or chipped tooth causes pain, contact your emergency dentist immediately. While waiting for your appointment, try the following;
  • Rinse your mouth with warm water
  • Take acetaminophen to relieve the pain
  • Placea cold compress on your cheek to prevent swelling
Do not use a numbing pain killer or numbing gel because it may damage your gums. When you get to the practice, your dentist may need to carry out an x-ray to determine the severity of the condition. If your pulp is damaged, your dentist may suggest a root canal, or you may need a crown.
Chipped or Cracked Tooth Treatment

Dental abscess

A dental abscess occurs when a tooth becomes infected, causing a pocket of pus to accumulate in the tooth. This condition is usually severe and life-threatening. In some cases, dental abscess leads to tooth sensitivity to hot and cold food or drinks, tender lymph nodes in the neck, swollen face, high fever, and bumps on the gums close to the affected tooth. If a dental abscess is untreated, the infection may spread to your jaw and other surrounding tissues. While waiting foryour dentist, rinse your mouth with saltwater several times daily to draw the pus out and relieve pain.

How to avoid dental emergencies

You can avoid dental emergencies by taking proper care of your gums and teeth every day and regularly visiting your dental professional for dental cleaning and check-up. During your visits to the dentist, they will check for signs of decay, infection, gum disease, fillings and crowns. Depending on your oral health, your dentist will suggest treatments to address dental issues that may result in an emergency. If you have a dental emergency requiring an emergency dentist to offer you immediate dental care, visit Smile Clinic London or call 020 7139 8611.