4 Dental Emergencies You Should Never Ignore
Most people will experience a sudden toothache or mouth injury at least once in their lifetime. Dental pain can be excruciating, but how do you know if it needs to be treated right away or if it can wait until morning? Read on to learn which four dental emergencies you should never ignore.
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gum tissue that causes symptoms like irritation and bleeding. Normally, gingivitis alone is not an emergency situation and can be cured with a deep cleaning and improved hygiene habits. However, a less common form of this disease called acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis can result in the loss of gums, teeth and surrounding tissue if quick action is not taken. If you notice gum sensitivity, then just take better care of your teeth. The moment you notice sores forming in addition to the sensitivity, however, you’d best get to your dentist quickly for the proper antibiotic treatments.
Most people don’t think of cavities when they think of a dental emergency, but these areas of tooth decay can easily become a critical situation if left untreated. A tooth with a cavity is in a weakened state, which means it’s vulnerable to cracking while eating or grinding your teeth. While some shallow cavities can be reversed with remineralization tactics, deep cavities often carry decaying matter that must be removed by a professional cleaning to avoid further damage. Cavities can also become extremely painful, especially when eating or drinking something very hot or cold. To prevent a cavity emergency, visit your dentist twice a year and have any decay treated promptly.
Many dental emergencies are the result of trauma to one or more teeth. Trauma can happen due to accidents like car or bicycle wrecks, playing sports or just biting into a hard piece of food. Common types of tooth trauma include cracking, chipping, lost crowns or fillings and lost teeth. Displaced adult teeth should be stored in milk or placed back in the empty socket until you can get to an emergency dentist. With immediate attention, the dentist may be able to save your tooth as long as the roots are kept alive.
One of the most serious dental emergencies is root pain, and it’s also one of the easiest to underestimate. By the time pain has reached the root of your tooth, a root canal and crown will be necessary to save the tooth. The tooth may also die and need to be removed. Root pain is sometimes caused by an infection or abscess, which can spread into your blood and lead to death. Because the root of your tooth is what connects it to your bloodstream and your jaw, it is essential that any pain in the roots of your teeth be taken seriously and treated promptly.
Although these tips can help you deal with a dental emergency, it’s better to prevent emergencies in the first place. Remember to get regular cleanings and checkups with your dentist and wear mouthguards while playing sports. Avoid chewing on hard foods and never use your teeth to open packages.
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure.