Dental Emergencies

Dental emergencies are unexpected and distressing, but we are here to help. Please contact us immediately if you experience any sudden onset pain. 

The two most common periods in life to experience dental emergencies are during toddlerhood and adolescence due to environmental exploration and sports-related injuries. However, it is also common for adults to experience a dental emergency due to trauma, decay, or infection.

Common Dental Emergencies

1. Toothache

Tooth pain can indicate a wide variety of potential dental problems. Its cause should be identified and treated as soon as possible. Two common causes of toothaches are pulp infections and having something stuck between your teeth. When tooth pain comes on suddenly, is progressively getting worse, or is intense, it is vitally important to see a dentist as quickly as you can. 

2. Chips or Cracks

Chips and cracks can form in the teeth from biting down on hard objects, using teeth to perform activities other than biting or chewing, or through psychical trauma to the teeth. People who grind or clench their teeth are also more susceptible than others to chipping or cracking their teeth. If you have a tooth that has become chipped or cracked, visit a dentist immediately. Any tooth fragments should be rinsed, preserved in a glass of milk or water, and brought to your dentist to determine whether or not they can reattach the broken portion of the tooth.

3. Loose or Knocked-Out Teeth

Any traumatic impact that causes teeth to become loose or fall out requires urgent dental care. If a tooth becomes loose, you should attempt to keep the tooth in its socket by gently biting down to hold the tooth in its correct place. If a tooth gets knocked out of your mouth, you should attempt to locate the missing tooth so that the dentist can try to save it. If you find the missing tooth, you should only handle it by the crown, not the roots. You then must clean the tooth by gently rinsing it. You can preserve the tooth by doing one of two things: you can place it back in the socket and bite down as you would for a loose tooth, or you can store it in a glass of milk or water like you would for fragments of a chipped tooth.

4. Missing or Loose Dental Restoration Appliance

Both permanent and temporary restorations, such as crowns or implants, can become loose or fall out. These problems are far more common with temporary restoration work. Regardless of the type of restoration, they both require emergency dental care. For a permanent restoration appliance, you will need to bring the restoration appliance with you to your dental appointment. With a temporary restoration appliance, you may be able to use Vaseline, Chapstick, or denture adhesive to keep the restoration appliance in place until you can see your dentist.

5. Soft Tissue Injury

The soft tissues of the mouth include the lips, gums, inner portion of the cheeks, and tongue. When one of these structures is injured, you will want to call your dentist for instructions on where to go to have the injury treated. Some injuries may require an emergency dental visit, while others may require a trip to the emergency room. Soft tissue injuries such as lacerations, punctures, and tears should be rinsed thoroughly with warm water and have pressure applied to them to stop the bleeding.

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Cavities

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Chips and Cracks Teeth

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Loose Teeth

The Basics of Preventing a Dental Emergency

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re experiencing sudden onset pain, swelling, bleeding, or you observe pus excreting from your gums and teeth, you are likely experiencing a dental emergency. Other signs include loose, cracked, and knocked-out teeth. If you experience any of these symptoms, make an appointment with a dentist right away.
Contact a dentist and get an appointment set up as soon as possible. The sooner you are able to see a dentist, the better. If you are unsure if you are experiencing an emergency, it is better to err on the side of caution and get examined by a doctor.
Consistent preventive care is the best defense against dental emergencies. Dentists recommend that you brush your teeth twice a day and floss before bed. Attending routine dental appointments will also help to protect your teeth. If you play any high-contact sports, it’s in your best interest to protect your teeth by wearing a mouth guard and a helmet.
Take an anti-inflammatory medication such as Ibuprofen. Avoid Aspirin because it contains ingredients that will thin your blood and thus exacerbate the situation.

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