You take good care of your teeth and gums with a proper at-home dental hygiene routine. You also go to the dentist every six months.
Are there times when you need to visit the dentist unexpectedly, as in a dental emergency?
You don’t even know what a dental emergency is. How do you know if you have one and why is it important to see the dentist as soon as possible?
What are dental emergencies?
Dental emergencies are often caused by accidents that result in blunt force trauma to the face or mouth. Knocked-out teeth, cracked, chipped or broken teeth, lacerations to the lips, inside of cheeks and gums, toothaches, headaches as well as excessive bleeding in the mouth are common examples of dental emergencies.
Dental emergencies cause great pain and discomfort, can lead to other, more complicated dental problems and inhibit one’s ability to utilize the normal functionality of one’s mouth and live a happy, normal life.
Why do I have to see the dentist right away?
In dental emergencies that involve lost, broken or chipped teeth or bleeding, cuts to parts of the mouth and facial, jaw or headaches need to be treated by a dental professional right away.
In the case of damaged teeth, the teeth have the highest chance to be saved the sooner they are treated. Adult permanent teeth don’t grow back once broken, chipped or fall out. Once it’s gone, it’s gone unless a dentist treats it within the small time window after the injury occurred. In the case of knocked out teeth if the patient recovers the tooth, takes care of it until he or she reaches the dentist office, there is a good chance it can be saved.
Lost teeth not only leave embarrassing gaps in your smile, but it can lead to the need for additional dental work in order to prevent additional oral health issues such as shifting teeth and the gradual weakening and breakdown of the jaw bone.
Any facial pain, headaches or toothaches are to be treated immediately, especially if it is severe, as they can be symptoms of underlying problems such as a jaw injury, fractured facial bones, a sinus infection or an abscessed tooth. All these issues can worsen, causing further damage and discomfort, lowering your sense of well-being. Sometimes dental and facial pain can be result of a severe case of temporalmndibular joint disorder (TMJ) which affects the jaw and ones bite.
Any kind of severe bleeding and deep lacerations to the gums, inside of the cheeks or the lips should be cleaned and treated immediately to prevent the risk of infection.
Getting immediate treatment for your dental emergency not only can save your teeth, and your beautiful smile, but it can save you from getting possible life-threatening infections.
Most, if not all dentist will have an emergency phone number you can call if you or a loved one is experiencing a dental emergency. If the emergency happens while the dentist office is open, go immediately and have the dentist look at it and treat it. If the emergency requires surgery, the dentist will refer you to an oral surgeon or to the nearest medical emergency room to have the emergency treated. If the dental emergency happens during after hours, the dentist or the dental assistant that answers the phone will direct you to the nearest medical emergency room if they are unable to extend the office hours and treat you themselves.
A dental emergency is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. In order to save your smile, your well