Sometimes, due to an unforeseen event, you need to see the dentist immediately. Many preventive appointments can wait for weeks or even months. However, some restorative treatments must be performed as soon as possible to avoid additional problems.

When dental trauma must be addressed immediately, it is called a dental emergency. Here is some additional information about dental emergencies and what you should do if one occurs.

Examples of Dental Emergencies

Here are a few conditions that necessitate emergency dental care:

  • A lost or damaged crown. Once a dental crown is lost or broken, the underlying tooth is no longer protected. Oral bacteria may invade the tooth, leading to a serious dental infection. Additionally, the tooth may be overly sensitive to changes in pressure and temperature, causing severe discomfort.
  • A dislodged tooth. When a tooth is knocked from the mouth, it no longer receives a supply of blood to keep its pulp alive. As a result, the longer the tooth remains out of the mouth and disconnected from the soft tissues, the more likely the tooth is to be lost.
  • A painful tooth. A toothache may stem from more serious conditions than dental sensitivity. The tooth may be infected or have a deep cavity. Both conditions are serious enough to warrant immediate attention.
  • A gingival injury. When the gums are seriously injured, they may bleed excessively, Additionally, they can incur an infection that could spread to the bone of the jaw or become systemic. Stitches may be necessary to repair the gums, and antibiotics may also be required to avert an infection.
  • A large item stuck in an interdental space. Sometimes, a hard object, such as a piece of bone or a pen top, may become caught between the teeth. If the object is not rapidly removed, the item may place undue pressure on the teeth, resulting in a chip or crack. Additionally, the object could injure the gingival tissues.

What to Do In Case of a Dental Emergency

When you suspect that a dental emergency is taking place, call the dentist. The office staff can help provide instructions to minimize your discomfort and protect your oral health until you arrive at the office. 

Additionally, after the trauma has occurred, rinse your mouth with warm water, apply pressure to encourage the blood to clot, and keep a dislodged tooth wet. Also, a cold compress may be used to help alleviate any pain.

If you are experiencing a dental emergency, contact an emergency dentist in your local area.