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What Is Considered a Dental Emergency?

May 5, 2021

While your dental health is always important, you might not know what issues require immediate attention and which can wait. Recognizing a dental emergency as it happens not only enables you to receive the care you need as quickly as possible, but also informs you on steps you can take to minimize risks to your dental health.


Common Dental Emergencies


Just like any other emergency, you should see a dentist immediately for any oral-related issue that causes severe pain, might result in permanent damage, or could potentially be life threatening. Some of the most common occurrences that require immediate attention are:


  • Tooth Fractures

Cracks can develop in your teeth from chewing on hard foods, grinding your teeth at night, or simply occur as a result of tooth decay. Symptoms of a fractured tooth include sensitivity to hot or cold, pain when chewing or biting, and swollen gums around the affected area. Until you can see your dentist, you should rinse your mouth with warm water and use an ice pack to reduce swelling. Depending on the extent of the crack, you may need a filling, crown, or tooth extraction.

  • Knocked-out Teeth

To increase the chance of a dentist being able to save a knocked-out tooth, you need to take immediate action. If possible, reinsert the tooth into the socket. Make sure you don’t touch the root, as this can cause permanent damage. If you aren’t able to replace the tooth, keep it moist by placing it in milk to preserve it as long as possible. Knocked-out teeth are difficult to save after being out of place for more than an hour, so you should contact your dentist immediately.

  • Abscessed Teeth

Sometimes a cavity or fracture can become infected. Periapical abscesses occur in the tooth’s root, while periodontal abscesses affect the gums or side of the root. Both are serious and can cause intense pain, swelling, and a bad taste due to the buildup of pus. Abscesses need to be drained by a professional, who may also administer antibiotics, perform a root canal, or recommend a tooth extraction.


Other Emergencies


Dental emergencies can affect any part of the mouth, including the teeth, gums, or tongue. Although they are less threatening to your health, these issues still require immediate attention:


  • Painful cavities
  • Objects lodged in the gums, tongue, or between teeth
  • Missing, broken, or painful filling or crown
  • Loose permanent teeth
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Uncomfortable or painful wire braces


If you are experiencing any of these items, you should contact your dental provider right away to determine the best course of action to take.


Avoiding Dental Emergencies


Although no one plans on having a dental emergency, there are precautions you can take to help avoid an unnecessary trip to the dentist.


  • Visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings
  • Utilize a mouthguard when playing sports
  • Avoid opening packages with your teeth
  • Never chew on ice or hard candy
  • Stop grinding your teeth at night by using a custom mouthguard


Your dentist may also be able to recommend other activities or foods to avoid, depending on the quality of your oral health.


We’re Ready to Respond to Your Dental Emergency!


While we hope it never happens to you, we’re ready to help if a dental emergency strikes! It’s important to us that our patients know they are always taken care of. We will work with you to determine the best course of action to take, so contact us anytime.


For additional information about emergencies or any other dental service please call Dental Partners of Vero Beach at 772.569.4118

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

The post What Is Considered a Dental Emergency? appeared first on Dental Partners of Vero Beach.

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3790 7th Terrace, Suite 201
Vero Beach, FL 32960
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