How to Know if You are Having a Dental Emergency or Not

While we always try our best to avoid getting hurt, accidents happen. But if that accident happens to your teeth how will you know if you need immediate dental care? Our Cambridge dentists discuss the different types of dental emergencies and how you will know if your situation is an emergency requiring professional care.

What are the most commonly seen dental emergencies?

If you experience any sudden issue with your teeth or gums that need care from a dental professional it will be considered a dental emergency. Some of the concerns that our dentists most commonly see include:

Knocked Out or Damaged Teeth

A broken or chipped tooth can usually be repaired but will require urgent dental care. If the damage is minimal then your dentist may choose to complete the repair with a dental filling whereas a larger hole may be in need of a root canal and/or a crown.

For teeth that have been knocked out, a dentist may be able to put the tooth back in place within approximately an hour of the incident. The tooth has a better chance of taking root again within this time frame. After the two-hour mark, the chances decrease significantly, and alternative measures will have to be considered.

Severe Toothache That Can't be Relieved

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.

If you are suffering from a toothache then it is likely that you are experiencing a more serious dental concern beneath the surface.

Lost or Flawed Dental Filling

A lost filling is also serious as it exposes the interior of your tooth, weakening its structure. It’s important to see a dentist to have the filling replaced as soon as possible. If you are waiting to visit your dentist to have a filling replaced you can chew and place a small piece of sugarless gum in the spot where the filling will be needed.

Debris Stuck in Teeth

Objects getting lodged between the teeth can present a hazard and warrant urgent attention from your dentist. Please do not ever use a hard or sharp object to remove a piece of debris from your teeth. This can cause more harm than good.

Bitten Tongue or Lip That is Bleeding

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. The use of an ice pack while you seek emergency dental care is highly recommended in order to relieve swelling.

Dental Abscess or Serious Infection

A dental abscess is a buildup of pus which forms inside the teeth or gums. This very painful condition usually develops from a bacterial infection, often within the soft pulp of the tooth or the root of the tooth. They can be caused by a cavity that’s been left untreated, severe gum disease or perhaps a chipped tooth.

Symptoms can include anything from a bad taste in your mouth to swollen glands, pain, pus or fever. If you suffer from an abscessed tooth then you will likely be in need of surgical intervention to safely drain the pus and mend the wound. Treatment for dental abscesses can involve root canal surgery. 

Do you think that you are having a dental emergency? Our Cambridge dentists will make every effort to see you as soon as possible.

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