All kinds of accidents and issues can constitute a dental emergency, and getting timely help can often mean the difference between losing or saving your tooth. If you’re having any of the following issues, here are some tips on what to do and guidelines on when to call the emergency dentist.
Knocked Out Tooth
If you or your child knocks out a permanent tooth, you need to see the emergency dentist as soon as possible. The sooner you see a dentist, the more likely you are to salvage the tooth.
In the meantime, rinse the tooth off to remove dirt and debris, and try to place it back in the socket. If that’s not possible, put the tooth in a cup of silvia or water or store it in your cheek until you get the dentist. Don’t use milk—that is a myth.
Generally, if a baby tooth gets knocked out, you don’t need to see an emergency dentist, but there are key exceptions. If the wound was traumatic and the bleeding won’t stop, if you believe that some of the adult teeth have also been knocked out, or if there’s a lot of swelling, you should contact an emergency dentist. With a knocked out baby tooth, don’t try to replace the tooth in the socket, but take steps to subdue your child’s pain and rinse their mouth.
With a cracked tooth, you don’t need to see the emergency dentist as quickly as you do with a knocked out tooth, but you should still make an appointment as soon as possible. Rinse your mouth out with warm water to remove any debris that may go into the crack. If you have pain, try applying an ice pack to that side of your face and taking an over the counter pain medication.
Depending on the severity of the pain, a toothache can also be a dental emergency. In all cases, if you have a toothache or even unexplained sensitivity, you should make an appointment with your dentist. Typically, toothaches are related to cavities, and if you ignore the issue, it can get worse and spread to other areas of your mouth.
While you wait for your appointment, use over-the-counter pain medications, ice packs, and oral gels to reduce the pain, and be as diligent as possible about brushing, flossing, and rinsing.
If the toothache is severe, you should see an emergency dentist. Severe toothaches include intense pain that prevents you from sleeping or distracts you from your daily functions. Additionally, you may experience a fever which is a sign of infection and a definite call that you need to see an emergency dentist.
Cuts in Your Soft Tissues
Oral cuts and lacerations can range from relatively insignificant to extremely serious. If you simply bite your tongue, for example, you can clean the area by rinsing with water, and typically, the bleeding should stop almost immediately. However, if you are in a car accident or another type of traumatic situation and you suffer serious cuts or wounds to your tongue or other soft tissue, you may need to see an emergency dentist. In particular, if you have throbbing pain, fevers, or profuse bleeding, you should contact an emergency dentist.
If you’re having a dental emergency, contact Suwanee Center for Family Dentistry. We can help you navigate your emergency and get the help you need.