Dental emergencies can happen to anyone at anytime, but many people don’t have a basic plan of action in the case of a broken tooth or other dental accident. Understanding what makes a dental problem an emergency and what to do in the case of specific emergencies can help you and your family to keep your teeth healthy when the unexpected happens.
Knocked Out Tooth
When an accident causes a tooth to come out, it is possible that the tooth can be reattached if you act quickly. If there are no other injuries that require medical attention, you can immediately begin work to save the tooth. First apply pressure to stop the bleeding and rinse the mouth with water. Find the tooth and pick it up without touching the root. Put it in a container of milk, or water if milk is not available. Get to the dentist as soon as possible. According to Colgate Oral Care Center, a tooth can be successfully reattached if reattachment begins within an hour of the tooth coming out.
When is a toothache an emergency? If it sudden and severe, a toothache could be caused by an object caught between teeth or another situation that requires immediate attention. Any toothache is a sign of something that is likely to need a dentist’s treatment. Sudden, severe tooth pain or any pain that prevents you from eating could be considered to be an emergency. A dull toothache that you can tolerate is something you should still see the dentist about, because it could lead to serious problems if left untreated. This article gives you some tips on how to deal with a toothache.
When a piece of a tooth comes out but the rest of the tooth is securely in the mouth, this is not necessarily an emergency. The tooth can be cosmetically repaired as soon as you can make a dental appointment. If a chipped tooth leaves you in pain, or if the tooth is loose, you should consider it an emergency.
A mouth injury that involves more than your teeth may leave you wondering if you should seek emergency treatment from a doctor or a dentist. Injuries to your face or anywhere outside of your mouth indicate that you should probably seek emergency medical treatment. Use your best judgment, and remember that medical personnel can refer you to a dentist if necessary.
Lost or Broken Dental Work
If you lose a filling, break a crown or break your dentures, you should see the dentist as soon as possible for repair. The longer you go without proper dental work, the greater the chance that your teeth and oral health will suffer negative effects from having missing teeth or open cavities.
Cracks or Lines in Teeth
If you see small lines in your teeth developing, they may be harmless craze lines. Craze lines are common, and a cosmetic issue that needs no dental treatment. If you are uncertain if lines in your teeth are craze lines or a possible crack, you can make a dental appointment. You can also choose to have craze line cosmetically treated if their appearance bothers you. An obvious crack or split in a tooth is an emergency, and it is usually caused by biting into something hard, or a direct injury.
You can be prepared for any dental emergency by educating yourself and your family about these and other dental emergencies and what do when they occur. Keep the dentist’s phone number handy at all times, and remember that prevention, like wearing a mouth guard for athletic activity, can go a long way in preventing damage to your mouth and your teeth.
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