Many people, both children, and adults visit hospital departments for dental emergencies. The problem is, some of the dental trauma are emergencies and others are not. Knowing the difference between urgent dental emergencies and non-urgent will not only save your teeth but time too.
Some dental accidents require same-day treatment and others can wait a few days. In this post, our dentists in Southwest Houston highlight the difference between the two and what to do.
What is Oral Emergency?
Any trauma or accidents that affect your teeth and gums, causing lacerations, bleeding, and loss of teeth is a dental emergency. Similar to medical emergencies, most of these dental accidents need urgent care.
Some of the reasons you can visit an emergency dentist in 77036 includes:
- Knocked-out teeth
The teeth can get knocked out partially or completely after an accident or fall. Regardless of the impact, dislodged teeth should be treated by the dentist. It is tempting to try pulling the teeth out but don’t. Only the dentist can decide if the teeth need an extraction or not.
- Abscessed teeth
An abscess can form on the gums or in between the teeth. The infection leads to the formation of pus that causes excruciating pain. The infection needs dental treatment and often the dentist prescribes antibiotics to get rid of it. It is paramount to have the abscess removed to stop the spread to the other tissues. If the infection advances, it can weaken the teeth or cause widespread inflammation.
- Severe toothache
Most dental accidents cause some degree of pain. However, it is the intensity of the pain that matters. If you have severe pain when you bite something, your teeth could be cracked. Tooth pain can also be caused by decay and gum infection. Regardless of the cause, if you have severe toothache visit our dentist immediately, especially if you have a fever or headache.
- Soft tissue injuries
The soft tissues in the cheeks, lips, palate, and tongue can get injured and lead to bleeding. Mouth lacerations can also cause infections if left untreated.
What to Do After a Dental Emergency Occurs
How you handle the teeth and gums after a dental accident will determine the treatment time. First aid is critical after dental trauma and here are few tips:
- Rinse the mouth with mildly warm salt water to remove the debris, leftover teeth pieces, and to draw the pus out if you have an abscess.
- Pick the tooth by the crown (do not touch the root) and try to push it back to the socket. Keep the teeth moist all the time to prevent it from dying. You can use a milk solution if the tooth is completely dislodged.
- Use cold compression to ease swelling. Apply the ice pack on the cheek of the affected area, but not on direct skin.
- Place a gauze pad on the affected area to control bleeding. Alternatively, you can use a teabag.
- In the event your teeth are knocked out, contact the dentist within the first hour after an accident occurs. It is easy for the dentist to save the teeth and replant them if treatment is started early.
What Are the Non-Urgent Oral Emergencies?
Non-urgent oral accidents are emergencies that don’t cause severe pain, bleeding, or discomfort. The emergencies can wait for a few days for treatment. Some of them include:
- Loss of dental restorations such as dental crowns and fillings. When your dental crowns, bridges, or bonding chip you and use temporary crowns (bought in a drug store) as you wait to visit the dentist.
- Food stuck in the teeth can be handled at home. Flossing and rinsing the mouth can get rid of the stuck food particles. Don’t use a pin or needle to remove the food as it may bruise the gums.
- Small cracks and chips on the teeth
- Dull toothache
Quick-acting after an emergency occurs can save your teeth from extractions and preserve your health. If you are experiencing pain and discomfort, visit Texas Dental Center for treatment.