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Posted on: June 15, 2020
When to Seek Help for a Dental Emergency in Lake Katrine
What Is a Dental Emergency?
There are many situations that are considered a dental emergency by oral health professionals. In general, if you’re experiencing intense pain that’s affecting your everyday activities and isn’t alleviated by over-the-counter pain medication, you should seek treatment from an emergency dentist. In addition, any injury affecting the inside of your mouth, such as a puncture wound or deep cut to the lips, tongue, or cheeks, should also be considered an emergency situation.
These situations also qualify as a dental emergency in Lake Katrine:
- A knocked-out-tooth
- A mouth injury with excessive bleeding
- Fever or chills associated with mouth pain
- Loose, cracked, or chipped teeth
There are also many situations that are not considered emergencies but may require a visit to a dentist who offers walk-in dental services. These include:
- Sudden tooth sensitivity
- Losing a porcelain veneer, crown, or filling
- Bleeding gums while brushing and flossing
- Damage to a dental bridge
7 Signs You Have a Dental Emergency in Lake Katrine
Seek out emergency care if you or someone you know experiences any of these conditions:
1. A knocked-out-tooth: Losing a tooth can be a shocking experience, but it’s possible for your dentist to reinsert the tooth successfully if you act quickly. The American Association of Endodontists recommends seeing a dentist within 30 minutes to an hour after experiencing a knocked-out-tooth. If you regularly play high-impact sports, you can stay prepared and increase your chances of saving a knocked-out tooth by keeping an emergency tooth-preservation kit approved by the American Dental Association (ADA) in your first-aid kit.
2. Facial swelling and pain: An infection, TMJ dislocation, a fracture, inflammation, and an allergic reaction are all examples of conditions that can cause facial swelling and pain. Since they all require emergency attention, we recommend getting emergency treatment immediately if you have these symptoms.
3. A fractured or loose filling: The side of your cheek or tongue can quickly become injured if the sharp edges of a fractured or loose filling rub against them. Receiving prompt treatment can also help save the tooth from additional damage.
4. A fractured jaw: If you’ve suffered a serious jaw injury and think you might have a fracture, it’s crucial to receive emergency care. Doing so can prevent permanent problems with the alignment of your jaw and ensure that your teeth aren’t damaged.
5. A gum injury: If you experience lacerations or wounds to the gums, we recommend calling our office right away. Our dentist will treat the existing wounds and check to be sure that the surrounding teeth are healthy.
6. Excessive bleeding: If you suffer from trauma to the face or experience hemorrhaging after having a tooth extracted, emergency care is needed if the bleeding can’t be stopped on your own.
7. Dry socket pain and infection after tooth extraction: According to the Mayo Clinic, dry socket is the most common complication following a tooth extraction. A dry socket occurs when a blood clot doesn’t develop in the location where a tooth was pulled, exposing the nerve and bone to air, fluids, and food. Dry socket pain can be so intense that an over-the-counter pain reliever won’t relieve it. If you experience dizziness, headache, a foul odor, or intense pain that spreads to the ear and neck, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Why a Tooth Abscess Requires Emergency Treatment
An abscess is a bacterial infection that can have life-threatening consequences if left untreated. It occurs when a pocket of pus develops around the root of a tooth or in the gum tissue, which can cause serious damage to the soft tissues, bone and teeth near the site of infection.
When treated early, an abscess has a very good prognosis. However, if treatment is delayed, there is a 40% mortality rate if mediastinitis develops, which is irritation and swelling of the mid-chest area between the lungs. In some cases, sepsis can develop, which is a deadly infection that spreads throughout the entire body.
Symptoms of an abscess include:
- Throbbing tooth pain
- Swelling in the face or cheek
- Pain that spreads to jaw, neck, or ear
- Pain when chewing or biting
If you develop any of these symptoms, we urge you to seek emergency dental care as soon as possible. Treatment requires draining the abscess, taking a round of antibiotics to treat the infection, and determining whether a root canal can be performed to save the affected tooth, or if it requires extraction.
Is a Cracked Tooth an Emergency?
Teeth grinding, biting into a piece of hard candy, or suffering a sports-related injury are just a few examples of activities that can result in a chipped or broken tooth. If this happens to you, it’s important to stay calm and immediately rinse your mouth with warm water. Call our office for immediate advice regarding this emergency situation.
If the chip or crack in the tooth is causing extreme pain, it generally requires same-day treatment; however, a minor chip in a tooth is usually not an emergency situation and an appointment can be made to repair the tooth. Placing a cold compress near the area can control swelling, and mild discomfort can usually be alleviated with an over-the-counter pain medicine.
If the chipped or cracked tooth was caused by teeth grinding (bruxism) or a sports-related injury, our dentists recommend wearing a mouthguard to protect your teeth from such an emergency. If you’re prone to grinding your teeth while sleeping, a night mouthguard can prevent tooth damage.
By seeing your dentist regularly for scheduled checkups, it’s possible to avoid many dental problems. Detecting potential issues in their early stages can reduce your chances of developing a serious problem that requires emergency care. However, when you experience a dental emergency in Lake Katrine, you can trust our dentists to provide you with the skilled and compassionate care you need. If you require emergency services, don’t hesitate to call our office.