Dental emergencies can be tricky to deal with. You might be compelled to rush to your dentist in the middle of the night with no clue of what else to do. At times, it is also difficult to differentiate between a normal dental condition and an emergency. To learn more about how to recognise and deal with one, keep reading.
What is a dental emergency?
A dental emergency is a condition that requires immediate medical attention to treat a high-risk infection, mend teeth, or relieve severe pain. Accidents that involve damage to teeth or jaw are obvious reasons to call for an emergency dentist. You may also face situations where dental appliances have undergone considerable damage and need repairs as soon as possible. But these conditions do not generally qualify as dental emergencies and can be solved during regular work hours at the dentist’s clinic.
Here are a few examples of what can be treated as dental emergencies:
1. Cracked, broken, or knocked-out tooth
Chewing hard or sticky foods, or accidents including the jawbone, can lead to many dental conditions such as cracked or chipped filling, cracked or broken tooth, chipped veneers, and whatnot. If the blows are too hard, you may find one of your teeth knocked out. These conditions need emergency dental care.
The chipped or broken tooth or veneers can damage the insides of your mouth further with their sharp edges. A chipped filling can lead to nerve damage and is better to get it examined by a professional dentist. A knocked-out tooth can be repositioned until sometime after the injury. You should call for an emergency care as soon as possible.
And while you wait to reach the emergency dentist, you may also find and keep your knocked out tooth submerged in saliva. Try to keep minimum contact with the tooth root to avoid infections from bacteria. Do not touch the tooth with dirty hands.
2. Pain in teeth or jaw
Severe pain in teeth or jaw may be the signs of underlying infections. If you are experiencing such pain that lasts for days or more, you may want to get in touch with an emergency dentist. This pain can cause you to rush to your dentist at midnight anyway. So, you might as well be vigilant towards your oral health. In extreme cases, the pain in teeth or jaw is also accompanied by a fever, bad taste in the mouth, difficulty swallowing, or swelling around a teeth. These symptoms also indicate the presence of an infection in a tooth’s pulp canal system, which is known as an abscessed tooth. Treating this condition may require antibiotics or root canal treatment.
3. Bleeding or aching gums
The most common reason behind bleeding from gums when you brush your teeth or floss may be an early sign of gingivitis. Most of the time, it does not require an emergency call. But if the bleeding is excessive and recurring, a call to your dentist is expected. Periodontal diseases might also be the reason behind your bleeding and aching gums, and it should be treated in time to keep your gums, teeth, and supporting bones and tissues healthy.
If ignored for long, the infection causing your gums to bleed and ache, can reach internal parts of your respiratory system or extend to brain tissue damage. Dentists advise patients not to take such conditions lightly and call for an emergency dentist near them.
What must be done in case of a dental emergency?
When you have met with any of the above dental conditions, you must call your dentist first. They might know your teeth better, and most of the dentists also provide emergency dental services. If you are reaching your dentist outside of work hours, looking at their website can give you the emergency contact number that you need.
If you are unable to contact your dentist somehow, you may also call an emergency dentist near you. If you are looking for 24/7 emergency dentist in Melbourne, you might call Healthy Smiles Dental Group. We reserve time for dental emergencies in our daily schedules so that we can tend to such cases without wasting much time.
How do I avoid a dental emergency?
As with every other health condition, avoiding severe issues with oral health is possible through constant care. You must take care of your teeth and follow a healthy oral hygiene routine. Some examples of good oral hygiene are brushing your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes, flossing once a day, and rinsing your mouth with plain water after every meal. Avoid foods, drinks, and lifestyle habits that harm your teeth.
And most important of all, visit your dentist for routine dental check-ups, even if you think you are fine. Dentists can recognise any early signs of dental issues and treat them before it gets bigger.
To know more about dental emergencies, or getting treated in case of one, call Healthy Smiles Dental Group on 03 9877 2035 during work hours. For emergency dental care after hours, reach us on 03 9380 2903.