Most dental emergencies occur when they are least expected. And when they do, they can be incredibly stressful as they may endanger your oral health.
If you let a dental emergency linger much longer than you should, it could result in permanent damage.
And by then, the only way to get out of trouble is to opt for a more expensive or serious treatment. Dental issues like missing teeth, toothaches, or even severe pain from a crown should not be treated lightly.
But what are the most common dental emergencies that require immediate attention? Here are six of them, arranged in no particular order:
Toothaches can be caused by such things as clenching or grinding the teeth, cavities, and abscesses. They can even be caused by food that gets caught between your teeth.
At times, a toothache can be so severe that it calls for an urgent appointment with a dentist.
If the toothache's pain is constant and pulses along with your heartbeat, it is time you saw a dental professional.
As you wait to see a dentist, consider rinsing your mouth with warm water. Floss gently to minimize the intense pain or discomfort.
Most people with abscessed gums do not usually consider it an emergency. But in reality, they are.
An abscess is a painful bacterial infection that manifests itself between the teeth and gums. Leaving it untreated can allow it to spread throughout the arch of the teeth and gums.
Abscesses usually manifest as red, white, yellow, or even as a clear pimple located on the gums. This is an indication that there could be a severe, health-related but underlying condition.
For instance, an abscess may indicate that your teeth or gums are severely infected. This means that extraction or root canal therapy will be required if this condition is not treated as an emergency.
If you have abscessed gums, do not wait around needlessly. Contact a dental professional as soon as you can.
If you are placed on an appointment, make sure you keep practicing excellent dental hygiene. Do not be tempted to pop the abscess, or the consequences could be severe and excruciatingly painful.
However, as you wait for your appointment, consider rinsing your mouth with salt-water. This will draw out some of the bacteria in the abscess. Repeat this entire process several times a day until you can see a dentist.
A broken tooth may not be life-threatening, but it can still be extremely painful. However, the degree of pain is primarily dependent on how you broke the tooth.
Although a minor chip may not be considered an emergency, large breaks could be. And if the pain caused by the broken tooth is severe, do not waste time until the following day. Try to see a dental specialist as soon as possible.
A partially dislodged tooth – i.e., knocked loose or moved out of alignment – can be as painful as a completely dislodged one. This is an emergency that requires immediate attention.
Since the tooth is partially dislodged, use a finger to move the loose tooth back into position gently.
But do not force it in any way. When a tooth is dislodged, swelling may develop. Get and use a cold compress on your face to reduce the swelling and help with the pain.
A lost crown is an emergency that should be treated by a dentist as soon as possible. It can be excruciating, and you may not be relieved until you see a dentist.
Before the appointment, consider taking an over-the-counter pain reliever if you experience any discomfort.
Most sores in the mouth are not emergencies. But they can still be painful and dangerous to your oral health if not treated.
A virus usually causes sores in the mouth. And if they are so painful that they prevent you from drinking or eating, it is time to see a dentist.
While you wait for the appointment, make sure you do not inflame your gums further. Avoid eating foods that may aggravate the pain.
These are just six of the most common dental emergencies that most people experience from time to time.
They should never be handled lightly and should be attended to on time if you experience any of them.