Dental emergencies can make the most reluctant patient make an appointment with a dentist. This is because teeth can be sensitive and if ignored, their emergencies can have devastating effects. Although very few cases of dental emergencies can be fatal, overlooking them can cause permanent damage or can be very expensive to manage in the long run.
Unlike other health complications, it is easy to point out a dental emergency. Most oral emergencies are accompanied by pain, orofacial trauma, and bleeding. In most cases, a dental practitioner will be of help except on advanced issues like jaw fractures which require assistance from a maxillofacial surgeon.
Types of Dental emergencies
- Losing a Crown or Filling
Fillings help to restore teeth that have been damaged by decay. A dental practitioner removes any decayed material on the tooth, cleans and disinfects the decayed area before filling the tooth with the filler material. Depending on the client, the fillings can be gold, composite among other types of fillings. Tooth crowns fill the top part of a tooth to maintain the teeth formation.
Dental fillings and teeth crowns are made of material that can wear and tear. As a result, they can fall off. Fillings falling off can also be a sign of a new cavity forming on the tooth. This results in tooth sensitivity and deterioration of the affected area.
In such a case, rinse your mouth with warm water and cover the cavity with cotton wool to prevent infections. The next step is to see a dentist as soon as you can.
- A persistent Toothache
If you accidentally bite something hard when chewing food, your teeth could ache for a minute and stop. Such a toothache should not cause alarm unless the tooth was broken. However, persistent toothache is a clear sign that you should see a dentist immediately. Toothaches are nerve endings consistently sending a pain receptor to the brain that there is a problem with the tooth.
Toothaches can be caused by tooth decay, infected gums, exposed roots or tooth abscess. Dentists strongly warn against applying medication on the lower part of the aching tooth to stop the pain. This has been proven to be futile and can do the opposite of making the pain more aggressive.
In such a scenario, rinse warm water in your mouth and then put a cold cloth on the aching area after rinsing. Repeat the process until you get to a dental practitioner for further help.
- Chipping or Knocking a tooth out
In case of a violent encounter and your tooth gets chipped. Do not throw away the chipped piece. Wrap it with a clean cloth and visit a dentist immediately. A dentist will determine whether the tooth can be fixed back. If the chipped tooth cannot be restored, do not leave the chipped space as it is. The dentist can perform dental bridges or implants on the chipped area to fill up space.
If a tooth is knocked out, the best option is to save the tooth and see the dentist as soon as possible. To increase the chances of the tooth fitting back correctly, store the tooth in water or milk in a sealed container and see a dentist within an hour.
- Breaking your Jaw
A broken Jaw may not directly affect your teeth. However, it is a serious dental emergency. A jaw fracture is accompanied with jaw pain and lack of teeth coordination. A jaw fracture can be fatal if the tongue is dislodged and blocking the breathing pattern.
When a jaw is broken, visit a dentist immediately. Depending on the extent of the fracture, a dentist may recommend surgery, and at that point, the dentist will refer you to a maxillofacial surgeon for advanced assistance.