Regular visits to the dentist are vital for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Dental visits are usually scheduled well in advance, but some occasions call for unscheduled visits. Accidents happen, and no one knows when it might be their turn to need emergency dental care. Injuries that require emergency intervention are varied and can be confusing.
WHAT CONSTITUTES A DENTAL EMERGENCY?
While some injuries can wait for the dental office to open, others need immediate treatment. This is so when only emergency intervention can save the tooth or prevent lasting damage.
Some indicators of a dental emergency include severe pain, extreme bleeding, and trauma resulting in a knocked-out or broken tooth. Rapid swelling and symptoms indicating the presence of an infection can also require emergency care.
UNDERSTANDING TOOTH TRAUMA
Some tooth injuries are uncomfortable but do not need emergency care. Mild pain or a little bleeding is no reason to get to the emergency room. When experiencing a nonemergency situation, do what you can to reduce discomfort as you schedule a dental visit. Severe tooth trauma cannot wait until you schedule a dental appointment. Waiting until the next day to visit the dentist can have severe consequences.
DEALING WITH A DISLODGED TOOTH
Losing a tooth through physical trauma requires emergency care. If a tooth gets dislodged, it can be reinserted successfully if you get immediate care. Replacing the tooth within the hour is essential for a positive prognosis.
Rinse the tooth, taking care not to touch the roots. Put it in a container with milk, and get to the dental office or emergency room as quickly as possible. A loose or broken tooth or crown may also require emergency care.
ORAL CUTS AND WOUNDS
Dental trauma can result in cuts and injuries that may require emergency care. Wearing a mouthguard can protect the teeth, but lip and mouth injuries may still occur. Oral trauma can be excruciating, involving the teeth, gums, or injuries to other mouth tissue.
Applying gauze can help stop the bleeding, and ice can reduce swelling, but you may still need emergency care. Soft tissue injuries, including large cuts and wounds, require stitches.
SEVERE JAW PAIN
You may need emergency treatment if you experience severe pain when opening or closing your mouth. It may be caused by a jaw dislocation or fracture. The condition can lead to difficulty swallowing or breathing.
If the pain begins suddenly or you are unsure of the cause, it could be due to an infection. It could also be due to a joint or muscle problem. If you experience significant pain, contact the dentist immediately. An impact on the face or head can cause serious dental issues. Getting immediate medical attention is vital.
If you experience severe dental pain or swelling, you must not try to treat the problem yourself. There are issues best left to the dentist. OTC painkillers can relieve pain, but you must visit the dentist for proper diagnosis and treatment.
You may need emergency dental care for lost fillings or crowns, broken or loose braces, abscesses, and other oral issues. Urgent care centers can perform simple procedures, but you need a dentist for proper treatment.
For more on tooth trauma, visit Sand Lake Dental at our office in Orlando, Florida. Call (407) 355-0608 to book an appointment today.