Many individuals will experience a dental emergency at some point in their lives, often as a result of an underlying oral health condition or an injury. Here our Winnipeg dentists provide you with some advice about determining whether or not your dental issues is an emergency and what to do if it is.
What is a dental emergency?
Any problem with your teeth, mouth or gums that requires urgent dental treatment is a dental emergency. Specifically, this can include:
Broken, Chipped, or Knocked Out 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 might be able to return your tooth back into its place within an hour of the incident. In this timeframe, your tooth has a better chance of taking root again. After two hours, the chances of being able to return the tooth to your mouth decrease significantly and you will have to consider alternative treatment options.
If you are experiencing a toothache that you aren't able to manage using over-the-counter pain medication, apply ice to the area and contact your dentist as soon as possible. This is considered a dental emergency.
Toothaches can indicate potential major dental issues, and so it is important to take them seriously.
A lost filling is also serious as it exposes the interior of your tooth, weakening its structure. It’s important to see a dentist to have the filling replaced 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
Objects becoming lodged between your teeth may present a hazard and warrant urgent attention from your dentist. If you aren't able to dislodge the object using floss, don't use a sharp object to attempt to remove it on your own. This could push it further between your teeth or injure your gums.
Bitten Tongue or Lip
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 which forms inside the teeth or gums. This very painful condition usually develops from a bacterial infection, often within the soft pulp of the tooth or the root 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.