Even for those who take diligent care of their teeth and see their dentist punctionally every six months, emergencies come up. Sometimes perfectly healthy teeth can break, however
typically there is an underlying problem with the tooth. When you experience immediate significant dental pain, it is essential to contact a dentist right away. The pain
could be a sign of a potentially life threatening infection, or immediate attention to the tooth could be the difference between losing and saving the tooth.
Usually, dentists are able to accomodate emergency patients, especially if they are regular patients who see that particular dentist on a fairly normal basis. If the emergency develops
after hours, it may be best to go to the emergency room, where at least you can start on some medication to relieve the pain.
WHAT Constitutes a dental emergency?
A cosmetic dilemma involving a chipped or broken front tooth may qualify as an emergency in the minds of some. For people whose livelihoods depend on their appearance
a broken front tooth is a serious problem. Generally even if you are not in pain, your dentist will likely make time in their schedule to see you, and if time allows, to
fix the chipped or broken tooth. Sometimes a temporary fix will do the trick until there is sufficient time to complete a more definitive solution to the problem.
Teeth that are knocked out
Displaced teeth caused by trauma should be placed back into the socket as soon as possible. Remember, sometimes teeth that are knocked out can still be saved. If the tooth cannot be put back into place, store the tooth in water or milk while making your way to the dentist's office. If you are able to, place the tooth back into the socket; once you place it back, bite on a soft wash cloth until you are able to see the dentist. Do not replace baby teeth into the mouth if they are knocked loose, they will not heal. There are many factors which will determine if your
tooth will survive being knocked out, but the cleaner you keep the tooth and the sooner it is put back in place, the higher the survival rate of the replaced tooth. Never scrub the tooth in an
attempt to clean it, this will destroy the precious cells which remain alive.
If you experience sudden, severe pain, it can be indicative of a condition that requires immediate attention. There could be a cracked tooth, an infection or a number of other
potentially dangerous problems. As a first step, usually 600mg of Ibuprofen will start your pain relief, but only if recommended by your doctor.
Bleeding of the gums or from teeth is always problematic, especially if the bleeding is severe. If you have trauma or a laceration on your gums or inside your mouth and there
is no evidence of harm to the teeth, then usually the emergency room can take care of it. If the teeth are damaged or you are unsure if they are damaged, you must see a dentist ASAP.
Constantly bleeding gums over a period of weeks or more is usually a symptom of gingivitis or periodontitis, and should be treated immediately as the conditions will
eventually lead to loss of all the teeth.
If the tooth is dead, can I just leave it in my mouth?
If your tooth dies from trauma and it is still in place, it may still function adequately, but it will usually appear darker than the other teeth. Nevertheless, a dead or necrotic tooth should not
remain in your mouth untreated because of the potential for the tooth becoming infected, as a consequence of the lack of blood supply. Dr. Robert Davis focuses a good portion of his
dental practice on dental implants. Give us a call if you would like a dental implant consultation.