Dental emergencies are not uncommon. Sometimes they are the result of an underlying oral health condition and other times dental emergencies may occur due to an injury. Our Burnaby dentists explain ways to know if you are experiencing a dental emergency.
What is a dental emergency?
Any problem with your teeth, mouth or gums that requires urgent dental treatment is a dental emergency. Below is a list of some common dental emergencies seen by our Burnaby dentists.
Broken, Chipped, or Knocked Out Tooth
A broken or chipped tooth can usually be repaired but will require urgent dental care. Your dentist may be able to repair the fracture or chip with a filling, whereas more serious breaks may require a crown or root canal.
If a tooth has been knocked out, a dentist may be able to put the tooth back in place if dental care is received within about an hour of the incident. The tooth has a better chance of taking root again within this time frame. After the two-hour mark, the chances decreases significantly, and alternative measures will have to 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, and so it is important to take them seriously.
Lost fillings are also serious as they expose the interior of your tooth, weakening its structure. It’s important to see a dentist as soon as possible to have the filling replaced. You can protect the area until you get to the dentist by replacing the filling temporarily with a softened piece of sugarless gum.
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 stopped 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 buildup of pus that forms within the teeth or gums. A dental abscess can be very painful and typically develops from a bacterial infection, often within the soft pulp of the tooth or the root of the tooth. They can be caused by a cavity that’s been left untreated, severe gum disease or perhaps a chipped tooth.
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.