If you are wondering what constitutes a dental emergency, you’re not alone. Here, our Edmonton dentists describe how to tell if you need emergency dental care.
What is a dental emergency?
A dental emergency is a problem with your teeth, gums or mouth that requires immediate dental treatment.
But how can you tell if your specific situation is a dental emergency? If you are experiencing any of the following, you have a dental emergency, and should visit your dentist as soon as possible.
A severe toothache that can't be managed with over-the-counter pain medication is considered a dental emergency. If you are experiencing a severe toothache, apply ice, and get to your dentist's office as soon as possible.
Chipped or Broken Tooth
Broken or chipped teeth can almost always be saved, but they do require urgent dental care. If it's a small break, your dentist may be able to fix it with a filling. For more serious breaks, a root canal or a crown may be required.
Knocked Out Tooth
If you act quickly, your dentist may be able to replace a knocked out adult tooth. If the tooth is put back in place within an hour, it has a fair chance of taking root again. After the two hour mark, the chances are significantly reduced.
Bitten Lip or Tongue
If you bite your lip or tongue and can't stop the bleeding, this is an emergency. Using a clean cloth, press down on the part of the mouth that is bleeding. If the lip is swollen, use an ice pack to keep the swelling down. Be sure to get immediate dental care.
Something Lodged Between Teeth
If there is a foreign object lodged between your teeth that cannot be removed with dental floss, you must go see your dentist to have to removed. Do not try to dislodge with with a sharp object, as this may just push it further between your teeth, and you could wind up injuring your gums.
Losing a filling exposes the interior of your tooth, and weakens its structure. For these reasons, it's important to get the tooth fixed as soon as possible. In the meantime, put a piece of softened sugarless chewing gum in the spot where the filling was lost to protect the area.