March 11, 2020
Many of us know how to identify a medical emergency, but what about a dental emergency? Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if a scary situation involving our teeth, gums, or mouth requires urgent care. However, acting quickly and correctly can make all the difference in keeping your smile healthy and intact. Here are the most common dental emergencies and how to handle them after calling your Grand Island dentist.
Chipped, Cracked, or Broken Tooth
If you have a tooth that has been slightly chipped or cracked but doesn’t cause very much discomfort, it can wait to be seen by your dentist for a few days. On the other hand, if your tooth is badly broken or very painful, it’s considered a dental emergency. Rinse your mouth out with warm saltwater to protect the tooth from bacteria and use dental wax to cover up any jagged edges that could irritate your cheek or tongue. Use a cold compress and over-the-counter pain relievers to minimize the discomfort.
Unfortunately, toothaches can be caused by a wide variety of factors. The most common culprit behind tooth pain is decay (cavities), while other causes include gum disease, bad brushing habits, or teeth grinding. While these situations are not emergencies, a toothache could also be a warning sign of a serious infection that could spread to other parts of your body. Seek emergency care for your toothache if it’s accompanied by:
- Gums that bleed easily or have a pimple-like bump.
- Teeth that are darkened, loose, or painful to chew with.
- Fever, swelling, or intense pain in your mouth.
If a tooth is treated by a dentist within an hour of being knocked out, there’s a good chance it will reattach successfully. First, gently hold the tooth by its crown and carefully wash it off, keeping any tissue on it intact. The best place to keep it until your dental appointment is back in its socket, but it can also be stored between your gums and cheek. You can also place it in a clean container, plastic bag, or glass of milk to keep it viable as well.
Other Dental Emergencies
While the above are the most common scary situations for your smile, other emergencies include:
- Swelling in the face or jaw.
- Having something wedged between your teeth
- Dental trauma from a fall, accident, or injury.
- A damaged or lost dental crown or filling.
- Excessive bleeding from the mouth.
Since these alarming events can happen without warning, it’s essential to know how to act properly. If you’re unsure that your situation counts as an emergency, call your dentist right away. They can help you decide what steps you should take next so you can get back to enjoying your happy, healthy smile!
About the Practice
If you or a loved one is experiencing a dental emergency, don’t hesitate to contact our highly trained team at Stec Cosmetic & Family Dentistry in Grand Island, NE right away. We offer same-day treatment whenever we can and will personally coach you through your next steps over the phone. With the most modern dental technology and comfortable patient amenities, we strive to make every appointment as relaxing, efficient, and effective as possible. We can be contacted via our website or at (308) 382-4440.
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