3 Dental Emergencies That Require Immediate Attention

Most people avoid a hospital emergency room as much as possible. Not only can a visit generate a considerable expense, but there is usually a significant wait before a doctor sees you. But the American Dental Association estimates that someone visits a hospital emergency room approximately every 15 seconds for dental emergencies. A dental emergency is much more than a toothache, but what qualifies as an emergency? Here are a few times you need to be seen by an on-call dentist or at the emergency department.

You Have Damaged Or Lost A Tooth Due To Trauma 

Many traumatic events can lead to chipped, broken, or dislodged teeth. Some of these events include:

  • Sporting accidents
  • Slips and falls
  • Car accidents
  • Face or mouth trauma

No matter how you damaged the tooth, acting quickly may save it. If you knock the tooth out completely, a dentist may be able to reinsert it into the socket if they see you shortly after the accident happens. 

When recovering the tooth, do not touch its roots. Rinse the tooth with milk or water. Attempt to reinsert the tooth into the socket. If you are successful, once you reinsert it, hold it in place by biting down on a soft cloth and get to a dentist as quickly as possible. 

If you cannot reinsert the tooth into the socket, hold it in your mouth, or transport it in milk. Keep the tooth moist, and do not allow the tooth to dry out. 

You Have Excruciating Dental Pain

There is a difference between a toothache and excruciating dental pain. A simple toothache is something that responds to over-the-counter pain relievers. While you still need to see a dental professional, this type of toothache does not rise to the level of a dental emergency.

A dentist needs to see you quickly if you find yourself in excruciating dental pain, especially with unexplained swelling in your mouth or jaw. Pain and swelling often indicate some infection or irritation that needs addressing.

You Have Knocked Out A Filling 

A missing filling often leaves behind a shell of a tooth with sharp edges. These edges come from when your dentist filed the tooth to hold your filling. 

If left unaddressed, the sharp edges of the tooth can damage your tongue. Because there is a hole left behind, you run the risk of the tooth cracking or breaking. This further damage can expose your tooth's nerve, leading to further problems. 

Speak to a dentist to learn more. 

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Tips To Prevent Dry Socket After Oral Surgery Our oral surgery and general dental website offers important information on how to prevent dry socket following a tooth extraction. After getting your tooth pulled, a protective blood clot develops over the extraction site. Many of our blog posts explain how this protective clot helps promote healing after an extraction. You'll learn that if the clot is accidentally dislodged, dry socket may occur, which can raise your risk for infection and heavy bleeding. We'll provide you with important tips on how to prevent this by avoiding smoking and drinking through a straw. You'll also learn that swishing water around your mouth should be avoided for a couple of days following your extraction because doing so creates a suction that may dislodge your clot, leading to dry socket.


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