Almost everyone will encounter a dental emergency at one point, whether it's due to an injury or oral health problem. Here, our dentists in Oakville offer some tips on how you can recognize a dental emergency and what you can do.
Any problem with your teeth, mouth, or gums that requires urgent dental treatment is a dental emergency. Specifically, this can include:
Chipped, Knocked Out, or Broken Tooth
A broken or chipped tooth can usually be repaired but will require urgent dental care. The dentist may be able to repair the fracture or chip with a filling, whereas more serious breaks may need a crown or root canal.
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.
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.
Toothaches can indicate potential major dental issues, so it is important to take them seriously.
A lost filling is also serious because it leaves the interior of your tooth exposed, making the structure weak. It’s important to see a dentist so they can replace the filling as soon as possible. You can protect the area until you get to the dentist by replacing the filling temporarily with a softened piece of sugarless gum.
Object Lodged Between Teeth
You may need to see your dentist urgently if you have an object lodged between your teeth because it can be a hazard. If you can't dislodge the object with floss, do not use a sharp object to attempt to remove it yourself as this could push it further between your teeth - or injure your gums.
Bitten Lip or Tongue
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. Use an ice pack to reduce swelling, and look for urgent dental care.
A dental abscess is a buildup of pus that forms within the gums or teeth. This condition is very painful and occurs as the result of a bacterial infection, often within the root or soft pulp 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 a fever. An abscessed tooth will usually need surgery to drain the infection and treat it properly. Treatment for dental abscesses can involve root canal surgery.