What Is Considered A Dental Emergency?
Injuries to the mouth may include teeth that are knocked out, forced out of position and loosened or fractured, and tissue injuries, such as puncture wounds, lacerations and tears to the lips, cheeks, mouth and tongue. Oral injuries are often painful and should be treated by a dentist as soon as possible.
To be sure if you have a genuine dental emergency, answer the following questions:
- Are you bleeding from the mouth?
- Are you in severe pain?
- Do you have any loose teeth?
- Have you been hit in the face or mouth?
- Do you have any swelling in the mouth or facial area?
- Do you have any bulges, swelling or knots on your gums?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should call your dentist immediately. Getting to a dentist within 30 minutes can make the difference between saving or losing a tooth. A severe infection or an abscess in the mouth can be life-threatening and should be dealt with as soon as possible.
When a tooth is knocked out you must immediately call your dentist for an emergency appointment. You should handle the tooth by the crown, not the root. Touching the root can damage cell necessary for bone reattachment. Gently rinse the tooth in water to remove dirt. Do not scrub. If you could, gently place the clean tooth in the socket to keep it moist. It is important not to let the tooth dry out. If this is not possible, then wrap the tooth in a clean cloth or gauze and immerse in milk or saliva.
When a tooth is pushed out of position, try to reposition the tooth to its normal alignment using very light finger pressure. Do not force the tooth. Bite down to keep the tooth from moving.
When a tooth is fractured, you should rinse the mouth with warm water. Use an ice pack or cold compress to reduce swelling. Also, take ibuprofen for pain. And immediately get to your dentist. He or she will determine the right treatment based on how badly the tooth is broken.
If you experience any type of tissue injury, it is important to clean the area immediately with warm water. If the bleeding is coming from the tongue, gently pull the tongue forward and place pressure on the wound using gauze. You should get to an oral surgeon or nearby hospital emergency room as quickly as possible.
Many dental emergencies can be avoided by having routine check-ups at the dentist to ensure that your mouth and teeth are healthy. During sport activities, you can opt to wear a mouth guard which will help to prevent teeth from being chipped, knocked out or broken. Avoid chewing on ice and hard foods that may break or fracture your teeth or injure the inside of your mouth.