Depending on where you are and what time of day it is, dental emergencies can be quite the inconvenience. Knowing how to react in each case will allow you to reduce pain and stress. That way, you can get to your dentist as soon as time permits. Some dental emergencies will allow you to wait up to a couple of days to get to the dentist. Other dental emergencies may require you to immediately seek medical attention. It’s important to be aware of the possibilities so that you can react calmly and appropriately. In any case, you want to maintain your composure and assess the situation correctly.
A toothache is probably the most common dental problem you’ll experience. It may be due to a cavity, tooth decay, or even bruxism. As far as emergencies go, it’s the lowest on the list. Dealing with a toothache is about controlling inflammation. You can reduce swelling in the short-term by taking Advil. However, do not substitute a full dental exam with ibuprofen. Schedule an appointment with your dentist to sort out the cause of your toothache. You do not want to leave the underlying cause of a toothache unremedied.
Swelling in Your Face
Swelling in your face from a dental issue can be quite serious. You need to see a dentist immediately as it is even possible that someone can die from an infection in the mouth region. If you absolutely cannot access medical help, stay upright, and do not lie flat, even if you have to sleep. Make sure to stay hydrated to reduce the likelihood of complications from the infection.
Cracked or Knocked Out Tooth
A broken chipped or cracked tooth is a common occurrence and shouldn’t be cause for panic. Especially in the case that you are not in pain, you have ample time to set up an appointment with your dentist. You may experience sensitivity to cold and heat.
If you have a tooth knocked out, time may be of the essence. If you were able to have that tooth reimplanted within an hour of it being knocked out, there is a good chance it can be restored. A root canal may still be needed, but in this case, you would be saving your real tooth without the need of an implant. It’s important to pick the tooth up by the crown, not the root, to avoid damaging tissue that will be instrumental in reimplantation. Even if you lose the tooth, there’s no need to panic as you can get an implant.
Bleeding from the Mouth
Bleeding from flossing is something you should mention to your dentist during your next visit. While not an emergency, you should book an appointment within a few weeks of noticing it. It is likely due to gum disease and treatment will help you avoid further problems. Overall, bleeding from the mouth is not a normal condition and should be checked out as soon as possible. Be especially mindful of blood in your saliva as this could be a sign of gum disease or even cancer. If the bleeding is due to an extraction, you should seek immediate medical care.
Gum or Tooth Abscess
A gum abscess is a pimple on the gum and can be a sign of an infection. A root canal or extraction may be necessary and an x-ray and antibiotics may be needed. The sooner you catch it, the less likely it is that you will experience permanent gum recession. A tooth abscess, on the other hand, is an infection inside the tooth. You may be experiencing sensitivity and pain in the area. These are signs of a dying tooth.
In the case of either a gum abscess or a tooth abscess, you want to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as you can. Putting it off will only exacerbate the situation.
Pain While Chewing
Pain when biting down can have a few different causes. It may be due to nighttime grinding or cracked tooth syndrome. In both of these cases, you don’t have to panic as they are not dire emergencies. However, in the case that the pain is caused by a tooth abscess, you will want to seek dental care sooner rather than later. In any case, it is recommended that you have any pain experienced while chewing checked out.
Tips to Get You Through
Other than remaining calm and trying to contact a dentist for setting up an appointment, there are a few things you can do to mitigate the situation. Breathing deeply will help you relieve any anxiety you may feel. Stay in control of the situation and you will be able to act in such a way that reduces potential complications. The more accurately you can assess the situation, the closer you can get to identifying the underlying cause. Getting to the source of the emergency will help you determine whether you can wait until the next day to contact your dentist or whether you should head to the emergency room of the closest hospital.
Having a dentist you can turn to with any problems you may experience is the best insurance policy. Don’t wait for an emergency to come up. It is best to have your own personal or family dentist to whom you can turn to for your routine check-up as well as any unpredictable circumstances.
About John Paul Gallardo
If you’re in Miami, contact John Paul Gallardo D.D.S., P.A., today. With over 25 years as the leading periodontist in South Florida, Dr. Gallardo has extensive experience dealing with all dental emergencies. Specializing in the treatment of gums and the placement of dental implants, Dr. Gallardo offers the highest-quality care.