What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?

Dental emergencies can happen at any time, and it's essential to know what steps to take when they do. A dental emergency is defined as any situation requiring immediate attention from a dental professional in order to save a tooth, stop bleeding or reduce pain. It is always best to seek immediate dental care when an emergency arises in order to reduce the risk of further complications or damage.

A bag of dental tools.

Here are some situations that should be treated as dental emergencies:

  • Severe Pain - If you are feeling intense pain in your teeth, gums, or jaw, seek emergency dental care right away. This could be indicative of a larger underlying issue.

  • Knocked-Out Tooth - In order to maximize the chances of saving a knocked-out tooth, it should be addressed as soon as possible. Rinse gently with water and try replacing it in its socket if possible; otherwise store the tooth in milk in case emergency dental care is necessary.

  • Broken or Cracked Tooth - Broken and cracked teeth can expose nerves, resulting in intense pain. Seeking emergency dental care is recommended to prevent further damage to the tooth as well as infection.

  • Losing Filling or Crown - If your tooth has lost a filling or crown, it leaves the tooth vulnerable and increases the risk of decay. Make an appointment with your dentist right away to address this issue.

  • Abscess - An abscess is a dangerous infection that can spread to other parts of the body. Signs include intense pain, fever and swelling. For these reasons it's best to seek emergency dental care as soon as possible.

  • Bleeding - If you experience unusual bleeding in your mouth, it could be indicative of an injury or medical emergency. Contact your dentist or go directly to the emergency room for immediate attention and care.

Tips for Caring for Dental Emergency Situations at Home:

Though seeking professional dental care should always be your top priority in an emergency, there are a few things you can do at home to reduce pain, stop bleeding and protect yourself from further damage before visiting a clinic.

  • Toothache - To relieve the pain, rinse your mouth with warm water, floss to get rid of any trapped debris that's causing the issue, and take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
  • Chipped or Broken Tooth? - Rinse the mouth with warm water to cleanse it, apply a cold compress to reduce swelling, and refrain from eating or drinking until you can see your dental professional.
  • Lost Filling or Crown? - To temporarily secure the crown, apply some dental cement or toothpaste onto its inner surface. This should serve as a temporary hold until you can see your dentist.
  • Knocked-Out or Dislodged Tooth - Rinse the tooth with water and apply a cold compress to reduce pain and swelling in the affected area. Place the tooth in a container of milk before seeking emergency dental care immediately.

Knowing what to do during a dental emergency can make all the difference in saving a tooth, relieving pain, and preventing further damage. Always seek professional dental care when an emergency arises and take necessary measures at home to reduce discomfort and avoid further issues.

Don't try to be a hero and brave through that toothache alone! Swish Oral Care is here for you - call and we'll get you taken care of quickly.

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