Have you woken up in the middle of the night only to realise that the dental pain that has been bothering you all day has now become worse?
Dental emergencies are often frightening and uncomfortable experiences, catching individuals off guard. Whether it’s a sudden toothache or a traumatic injury to the mouth, understanding the common signs of a dental emergency is crucial. Identifying these signs promptly can help you seek immediate care, preventing further complications and ensuring the best possible outcome for your oral health. Hopefully, you won’t have to lose a tooth!
To help you out, in this article, some of the most common signs of a dental emergency are explored, so you will know when it is essential to seek professional dental attention.
Going back to the introduction for a minute, a toothache that gradually gets worse or wakes you up in the middle of the night is definitely a severe one!
A sudden and intense toothache is one of the most common signs of a dental emergency. The pain may be localised to a single tooth or spread across a larger area. Toothaches can be caused by various issues, such as dental decay, abscesses, or gum infections. In some cases, a severe toothache may indicate a cracked or fractured tooth. If you experience persistent and excruciating tooth pain, it is essential to schedule an emergency dental appointment promptly to identify and address the underlying cause. In most cases, the most common culprit is a dental abscess, which can be treated with a root canal or an extraction, depending on the severity of the decay. However, this is up to the discretion of your dentist Navan.
A knocked-out tooth requires immediate attention. Whether the incident occurred during a sports activity, an accident, or a fall, acting quickly can increase the chances of saving the tooth. Handle the tooth by its crown (the visible part) and avoid touching the root. Try to reinsert the tooth into the socket if possible, and if not, place it in a container of milk or a tooth preservation kit and head to your dental team immediately.
In most cases, a tooth that has been knocked out from the root up can be successfully reattached if it is brought to a dental surgery within 2 hours, as the nerves and the pulp will still be alive.
Broken or fractured tooth
A broken or fractured tooth can cause considerable discomfort and sensitivity. The severity of the fracture can vary, ranging from a minor chip to a more significant break that exposes the inner layers of the tooth. Regardless of the extent, any broken or fractured tooth requires prompt dental attention. Avoid applying pressure to the affected tooth, and if there is any bleeding, use a clean gauze or cloth to apply gentle pressure. An emergency dental team can assess the damage and determine the most appropriate treatment, which may include bonding, a dental crown, or, in severe cases, extraction.
Lost dental restoration
If a dental filling, crown, or bridge falls out, it can leave the underlying tooth vulnerable to further damage and sensitivity. While not always painful, a lost dental restoration should be treated as a dental emergency. Preserve the restoration if possible and schedule an emergency dental appointment to have it re-cemented or replaced. In the meantime, avoid chewing on the affected side to prevent any additional stress on the tooth.
Swelling and abscesses
Swelling in the face, gums, or jaw is a clear indication of a dental emergency, especially when accompanied by fever and a bad taste in the mouth. Swelling is often caused by an abscess, which is a painful infection that can develop in the root of a tooth or in the space between the teeth and gums. Dental abscesses require immediate attention, as they can lead to serious complications if left untreated. Your dental team may drain the abscess, prescribe antibiotics if necessary, and address the underlying cause of the infection. In some cases, it is important to give the treatment a few days, so the infection can come under control before the root canal or extraction is performed.
Whether you’ve had a tooth extraction, have had another dental procedure, or you have fallen off your bike, uncontrolled bleeding is a reason to seek emergency dental care. While some bleeding is normal after oral surgery, persistent and excessive bleeding should not be ignored. Apply gentle pressure with a clean gauze or cloth to the bleeding area and contact your dental team immediately.