A broken arm, chest pain, concussion, and difficulty breathing are all common reasons for visiting the emergency room. Most people know when a trip to the emergency room is necessary, but when to visit an emergency dentist can be a little ambiguous. For instance, what if you chip a tooth but it doesn’t hurt? What if you have a severe toothache that goes away with pain medication? These circumstances are common and most of the time a trip to the emergency dentist is necessary.
Here are five of the most common dental emergencies:
1. Avulsed (knocked-out) tooth
A knocked-out tooth is usually accompanied by pain and bleeding. Most often, teeth are knocked out during a sports game or while kids are playing around with their friends. Whatever the reason, a call to an emergency dentist is necessary. Before, during, or after the phone call, be sure to follow this procedure:
- Pick up the tooth by the top (crown)
- Rinse it off with water and place it back in the socket if possible
- If not, place the tooth in a cup of milk (preferred) or water
- Stop the bleeding with gauze or a clean cloth
- Drive to the dentist’s office
2. Loose tooth
For children, a loose tooth is common, but that’s not the case for adults. Loose teeth in adults are often caused by gum disease, pregnancy, injury, or osteoporosis. A loose tooth doesn’t constitute an emergency dental visit, but patients should see their dentist as soon as possible. Thankfully, this issue can typically be resolved by treating the underlying condition.
3. Chipped or cracked tooth
If the chip or crack in your tooth isn’t causing severe pain, a trip to the dentist can probably wait another day. However, if you’re wanting to repair the chip with your natural tooth, follow the same instructions as if you had an avulsed tooth.
It’s important to visit the dentist as soon as possible when a tooth is chipped or cracked because the damage could spread to the inner part of the tooth. When that happens, the tooth becomes susceptible to gum disease and decay which can lead to severe pain and tooth loss.
4. Dental abscess
The three types of dental abscesses include gingival, periodontal, and periapical. These are often caused by a bacterial infection and should be treated immediately. Contact a dentist immediately if you’re experiencing oral pain along with any of these symptoms:
- Pain radiating to the jawbone, neck, or ear
- Dental sensitivity
- Pain while chewing or biting
- Facial swelling
- Swollen lymph nodes under jaw or neck
- Foul smell or taste in mouth
5. Severe toothache
Sometimes a toothache can be relieved by home remedies like a saltwater rinse, tea bags, and pain relievers. Unfortunately, these treatments don’t always work. If you or a loved one is experiencing severe dental pain, contact an emergency dentist immediately. The dentist should be able to find and treat the underlying condition to relieve the pain.
Emergency Dentist in Denver
At Metropolitan Dental Care, our team of compassionate dentists offers same-day treatment for dental emergencies. If same-day treatment isn’t necessary, we’ll walk you through the step you need to take before visiting our office at a later date.
If you live in the Denver area, save our phone number (303-534-2626) as your emergency dentist contact!