Many people will experience a dental emergency at some point in their lives, which can be caused by underlying oral health issues or injuries. Our Windsor dentists can help you figure out if your dental problem is an emergency and what to do about it.
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.
A dentist may be able to replace a tooth that has been knocked out within an hour of the incident. Within this time frame, the tooth has a better chance of taking root again. After two hours, the chances are significantly reduced, and alternative measures must be considered.
If you experience a toothache you cannot manage with over-the-counter pain medication, first, apply ice to the area and contact your dentist as soon as possible, as this is considered a dental emergency.
Toothaches can indicate potential major dental issues, so it is important to take them seriously.
A missing filling is also dangerous because it exposes the interior of your tooth and weakens its structure. It's critical to see a dentist as soon as possible to have the filling replaced. Replace the filling with a softened piece of sugarless gum to protect the area until you can get to the dentist.
Object Lodged Between Teeth
Objects getting lodged between the teeth can present a hazard and warrant urgent attention from your dentist. If you cannot dislodge the object with floss, do not use a sharp object to attempt to remove it yourself as 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 pus-filled pocket within the teeth or gums. A bacterial infection, usually within the soft pulp of the tooth or the root of the tooth, causes this extremely painful condition. They can be caused by an untreated cavity, severe gum disease, or a chipped tooth, among other things.
Symptoms can include anything from a bad taste in your mouth to swollen glands, pain, pus or 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.