What to Do in A Dental Emergency?

April 1, 2023

What Is a Dental Emergency?

They are dental problems that are pressing and urgent enough to require immediate medical attention. Technically, unless an emergency dentist addresses your problem it will advance and progress into a complex and often an irreversible complication. Some of the defining traits of dental emergencies are:

  1. Prolonged bleeding – since the mouth should typically be able to control bleeding, it should be alarming if you experience prolonged bleeding.
  2. Excruciating pain – if your pain level is unbearable, hardly responding to pain medicine, you need to contact your dentist immediately.
  3. Swelling that won’t get better but rather seems to be spreading to the surrounding areas like the head and neck.
  4. An oral problem that is seemingly getting worse as you go.
  5. An oral problem that risks damaging the surrounding tissues and teeth.
  6. Reduced or steadily deteriorating oral function. In very severe cases, you may not even be able to move or use your mouth.

What Dental Problems Feature as Oral Emergencies?

An Encinitas dentist can treat all oral problems, but that does not mean all of them are dental emergencies. Some of the dental emergencies that require urgent care are:

  1. Knocked-out tooth – at Sinclair Smiles, we have far too many patients who lose their natural teeth due to dental trauma. A knocked-out tooth can either be completely dislodged from the mouth or partially.
  2. Severe toothache – dental pain related to a diseased or damaged tooth can be excruciatingly uncomfortable. It is the pain that can prohibit sleeping at night or being productive during the day.
  3. Foreign object in the mouth – is a typical oral emergency for children. The foreign object could be stuck between teeth or within that throat area.
  4. Damaged oral appliances – patients with braces, dentures, dental crowns, or fillings can suffer oral emergencies when they damage their appliances. It is often an emergency because damage to an oral appliance translates to a heightened risk of damage to natural teeth and other surrounding oral features. For instance, a broken dental brace will compromise the orthodontic treatment for the patient while risking hurting the gums, tongue, and inner cheeks.
  5. Tooth fractures – a badly cracked or broken tooth can introduce severe dental issues, including unbearable pain.
  6. Open wound – not all wounds in your mouth feature as dental emergencies. Instead, if you have a deep cut or severe soft tissue injury, you may need urgent dental care. Such wounds are common after dental trauma involving an injury or accident around your face.

How to Respond to A Dental Emergency

As soon as you realize you have an oral problem that is without your ability to manage, call an emergency dentist near you immediately. It is an acknowledgment that you need urgent care treatment as soon as possible. However, before you get to the dental office, here are a few things you can do when you are faced with a dental emergency:

  1. Take over-the-counter pain medication – it will go a long way to alleviate the pain before you can get professional treatment.
  2. Find the missing or damaged oral appliance – chances are, if your oral device is still in a fair state, it can be repaired instead of replacing it altogether.
  3. Stop the bleeding – place a clean cloth on the bleeding area to control it. It also helps to bite or lick ice to soothe your mouth and potentially stop the bleeding.
  4. Store the missing tooth – do not misplace your natural tooth even when completely dislodged from your mouth. Instead, soak it in water or milk to preserve it before you visit your dentist. Ideally, if you can get to your dentist in Encinitas, CA, within the hour, there is a high chance of restoring that tooth.
  5. Don’t eat anything – whatever you introduce in your mouth during a dental emergency can potentially worsen the situation.
  6. Cold compress – the low temperatures will help improve your comfort levels by constricting the blood vessels in your mouth to alleviate pain and inflammation.
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