Many people have a dental emergency at some point in their life. Sometimes this will be as a result of underlying oral health conditions and injuries. Here, our Markham dentists provide advice on how to know if your dental issue is an emergency and what you can do to tide you over until seeing a dentist.
What is a dental emergency?
Any problem with your teeth, mouth or gums that requires urgent dental treatment is a dental emergency. Specifically, this can include:
Broken, Chipped, or Knocked Out Tooth
A broken or chipped tooth can usually be repaired, but will require urgent dental care. The dentist may be able to repair the fracture or chip with a filling, whereas more serious breaks may need a crown or root canal.
for teeth that have been knocked out, a dentist may be able to return them to their spot successfully within about an hour of them being knocked loose. A tooth has a better chance of taking again when being placed back if placed within this time frame. After about two hours, the chances decrease significantly and alternative treatments will have to be considered.
If you experience a toothache you cannot manage with over-the-counter pain medication, first apply ice to the area and contact your dentist as soon as possible, as this is considered a dental emergency.
Toothaches can indicate potential major dental issues, and so it is important to take them seriously.
Lost fillings are very serious since they expose the interior of your tooth, weakening its structure. Make sure you see a dentist to have the filling replaced as soon as possible. You will be able to protect the are until you get to the dentist by replacing the filling temporarily with a softened piece of sugarless gum.
Object Lodged Between Teeth
Objects getting lodged between the teeth can present a hazard and warrant urgent attention from your dentist. If you cannot dislodge the object with floss, do not use a sharp object to attempt to remove it yourself as this could push it further between your teeth - or injure your gums.
Bitten Tongue or Lip
If you are experiencing bleeding that can’t be quelled after biting your tongue or lip, you need to visit an emergency dental clinic. In the meantime, apply a clean cloth to the part of the mouth that’s bleeding and press down. Use an ice pack to reduce swelling, and look for urgent dental care.
Dental abscesses are a buildup of pus that forms in the teeth or gums. This very painful condition will often first develop from a bacterial infection, often within the soft pulp of the tooth or root, They can be caused by cavities that haven't been promtpyl treated, serious gum disease or chipped teeth.
Symptoms can include anything from a bad taste in your mouth to swollen glands, pain, pus or a fever. An abscessed tooth will usually need surgery to drain the infection and treat it properly. Treatment for dental abscesses can involve root canal surgery.