Can Your Tooth Pain Wait? Dont Wait for a Dental Emergency

This Is What's Considered a Dental Emergency

No one likes enduring tooth pain. But know if your tooth problems are a dental emergency or if they only require a regular dental check-up.
It is estimated that 22% of people have had dental pain in the past 6 months. While not all of these people may have a dental emergency, dental pain can be an extremely uncomfortable thing to have to endure and an emergency can be even worse. Some dental emergencies are a long time coming while others may be complete accidents. Do you know what to do if it happens to you? Keep reading to get some advice on what a dental emergency looks like and how you may be able to avoid them in the future.

The Most Common Dental Emergencies

Although there are some dental emergencies that may be abnormal, plenty of people that experience dental issues unexpectedly have similar problems.

Knocking Out a Tooth

Getting a tooth knocked out of your mouth can be a really scary experience, but it does happen. If you play contact sports, taking extra care is especially important. A lot of people don't know that if your tooth is knocked out and you are able to swiftly take action, you may be able to have the dentist put the tooth back in. In order for this to be a possibility, you will want to pick up the tooth by the head and try not to touch the root. Gently rinse the tooth off without scrubbing at the tooth at all. If you can't put it back in yourself, place the tooth in milk and get to the dentist right away.

Chipping a Tooth

Have you ever been eating something and suddenly feel part of your tooth come off in your mouth? Perhaps you were trying to eat a hard candy and suddenly, you hear a crack that sounded a little too sharp? If you have a very painful chip in your tooth, you should try to clean out your mouth with warm water. Apply a cold compress or a frozen bag of vegetables to the outside of your mouth for swelling.

Dental Abscess

This is a pretty serious condition in which there is a pocket of pus in the tooth has caused an infection. Having a dental abscess can be life-threatening in some cases, so seeing the dentist immediately is crucial if you are feeling symptoms of this problem. Some symptoms that a person with this issue may have are toothaches, sensitivity, fever, tender lymph nodes, swelling near the mouth, or a small bump near the tooth.

Oral Infection

Most oral infections are not an immediate life-threatening concern because they gradually get worse over time. There are some instances when they can be very dangerous, however, and this would be when a trip to the dentist right away is crucial. Some infections may cause difficulty with breathing or cause swallowing to be difficult, which may be the sign of a serious infection that can cause other issues in the body.

Other Things to Consider

If you have severe pain or bleeding, it is important to realize these are signs of an emergency. Any type of swelling or knots along the gums and inside the mouth are a sign that things may get worse and might end up being a serious problem. In the event that you are unsure of whether or not you need to visit the dentist in an emergency situation, you can always call to determine what they think should be done. This saves you an unnecessary trip if it actually isn't that serious. The office may be closed after 9 pm, but it is still worth trying to call to see if the answering service offers an emergency line to contact.

What Wouldn't Be Considered a Dental Emergency

It is important to note that while not all dental emergencies may be life-threatening, there is a spectrum to what would be considered an emergency situation. An emergency could be getting a tooth knocked out, having intense pain, or even extreme sensitivity to cold or hot food and drink. A dental issue does not look the same to all people, especially in emergency situations. Any type of problem you may be having that isn't causing you extreme pain or discomfort is likely not an emergency. If you think you can wait a few days before getting into the dentist, there is no immediate need. Even a critical problem may be something that can wait if you take care of yourself, but always err on the side of caution. For instance, chipping a tooth is something that was mentioned earlier as being an emergency. However, if it doesn't hurt, you don't have any trauma inside the mouth, and it isn't causing any issue, you can wait to see the dentist as long as you take extra care. A toothache that isn't severe can wait as long as other symptoms, such as swelling or a high fever, are not present. Losing one of your fillings or a crown may be slightly uncomfortable, but it would not usually be considered a dental emergency situation. Never try to fix these issues at home as it can create a bigger problem once the dentist is able to help. In most situations, if you feel comfortable setting up an appointment to see your dentist for any type of mild discomfort, it is always worth a call to try and see them the same day.

Can You Avoid These Emergencies?

There are protective actions you can take to avoid having to deal with any type of oral or tooth related emergency. Since most people don't like to be in pain, the following are some great tips:
  • See your dentist every 6 months
  • Stay active with your oral hygiene
  • Wear a custom-fitted mouth guard during contact sports
  • Don't use teeth to try to open any sort of packaging
  • Avoid chewing hard items, like hard candy or ice, when possible
  • Pay attention to how your mouth feels (and see the dentist if something changes)
By taking care of your teeth and mouth, you are likely going to be able to prevent a lot of dental emergencies from occurring over the course of your lifetime. This will save you time and money.

Get Quality Dental Care During an Emergency

If you are having to deal with a dental emergency, remember that you need to get to the dentist as soon as you can to prevent the problem from becoming more serious. Time is of the essence! At Zen Dental Group, we are open every day of the week from 9 am-9 pm. We offer a variety of services, including emergency dentistry, and would be happy to have you contact us for more information.


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