Dental emergencies can occur unexpectedly and at times the accompanying pain can cause us extreme discomfort. If not treated timely, these emergency can lead to other health complications. So, what should we do, if a dental emergency occurs especially during Covid-19 restrictions, where moving around is limited? This blog is to help your knowledge about dental emergencies and other related aspects. First of all, Northcote Family Dental is here as part of essential services to alleviate Dental Emergencies to the best of their ability while following Dental Board and ADA guidelines.
How to understand if you have a dental emergency?
Not every situation can be treated as a dental emergency. However, you may ask yourself the following questions to know if you need to visit an emergency dental clinic.
- Are you suffering from severe toothache and or pain on biting?
- Do you have a loose filling, which you feel is broken and sharp to your tongue?
- Do you have a loose tooth risk of being swallowed?
- Is there an infection or abscess in your mouth leading to the bleeding or swelling of gums or face?
- Have you suffered a soft tissue injury to your tongue, lips, or gums?
- Are you having extreme sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures?
- Do you have a broken or avulsed tooth as a result of an injury?
- Is there a wisdom tooth issue with pain or swelling?
Some common dental emergencies
As mentioned above, dental emergencies need to be treated right away at an emergency dental clinic. They can be of various types as explained below:
Dental abscess: Here, the presence of pus in the tooth can cause severe infection. As a result, the patient may get fever, severe toothache, sensitivity to hot or cold, or swelling in the gums and face, among others. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the surrounding tissues and cause extreme discomfort. There is risk of infection spreading to our blood stream as well. If one is unable to consult a dentist immediately, the person may rinse his or her mouth with lukewarm salt water several times and take some pain relieving tablets and consult his or her GP.
Severe toothache: A persistent toothache should not be ignored or ‘managed’ by taking painkillers. Remember, such toothache can be caused by a bacterial infection. To treat the infected tooth, the emergency dental clinic can initiate emergency root canal treatment or extract the damaged tooth.
Tooth knocked out (Avulsed tooth): The emergency dentist can save a knocked-out tooth by reinserting it into the tooth socket if contacted within short time. However, before visiting the dentist, the patient can keep the knocked-out tooth in a small container containing milk or water, and hand it over to the dentist.
Cracked or broken tooth: We may end up in a situation of having cracked or broken tooth due to trauma, severe dental decay, or chewing something hard or even due to grinding our teeth during sleep. Such a tooth can cause severe pain if it extends to the roots. It is only by visiting an emergency dental clinic that you can alleviate pain and prevent further damage to your tooth.
Loss of tooth filling: Tooth fillings can get loose or fall off for various reasons. Should they fall out, the area may become very sensitive to hot or cold temperatures. In such a situation, it is advisable to contact an emergency dentist.
Wisdom tooth: It is the last set of molars that many people get after the age of 16. If properly aligned, such a tooth can be helpful but more often than not it is misaligned or not fully erupted due to the lack of space. In such cases, the wisdom tooth may need to be removed. So, when a wisdom tooth tries to erupt through gums or is locked under the adjacent molar, it may be accompanied by severe pain or swelling – an emergency situation to visit a dentist.
In times of the pandemic like Covid-19, it is important to follow a regimen of good oral care and keep your dental issues at bay. Avoid too frequent snacking, specially sweets or sticky cookies which are so tempting during this restrictions time!! However, should you suffer from any dental emergency, it is advisable to visit an emergency dental clinic or Northcote Family Dental.