How to Know if You are Having a Dental Emergency or Not

Lots of people will encounter a dental emergency at some point in their lives, for reasons such as an underlying oral health condition or injury. In this blog, our Parksville dentists share ways you can tell if your dental condition is an emergency and what you should do.

What are dental emergencies?

A dental emergency is considered any issue you have with your teeth, gums, or mouth that needs immediate dental treatment. These situations can include:

Broken, Chipped, or Knocked-Out Teeth

Generally, a broken or chipped tooth can be repaired, if it's addressed quickly. Your dentist might be able to repair the fracture or chip with a filling, where a more severe break could require a crown or root canal.

If you have a tooth that has been knocked out, a dentist might be able to put it back in place within about an hour of the accident. Teeth have a better chance of taking root again within this time frame. After two hours have passed, the chances significantly decrease, and you will have to consider alternative options.

Severe Toothache

If you experience a toothache you cannot manage with over-the-counter pain medication, first apply ice to the area and contact your dentist as soon as possible, as this is considered a dental emergency.

Toothaches can indicate potential major dental issues, and so it is important to take them seriously.

Lost Filling

If you have a lost filling, this is a serious problem because it leaves the interior of your tooth exposed, making the structure weak. It’s imperative that you see your dentist as quickly as possible so they can replace the filling. You can keep the area protected until you get to your dentist's office by temporarily replacing the filling with a softened piece of sugarless gum.

Object Stuck Between Teeth

Objects getting lodged between the teeth can present a hazard and warrant urgent attention from your dentist. If you cannot dislodge the object with floss, do not use a sharp object to attempt to remove it yourself as this could push it further between your teeth - or injure your gums.

Bitten Lip or Tongue

If you are experiencing bleeding that can’t be quelled after biting your tongue or lip, you need to visit an emergency dental clinic. In the meantime, apply a clean cloth to the part of the mouth that’s bleeding and press down. Use an ice pack to reduce swelling, and look for urgent dental care.

Dental Abscess

A dental abscess is a buildup of pus that forms inside the teeth or gums. This very painful condition usually develops from a bacterial infection, often within the soft pulp of the tooth or the root of the tooth. They can be caused by a cavity that’s been left untreated, severe gum disease, or perhaps a chipped tooth.

Symptoms can include anything from a bad taste in your mouth to swollen glands, pain, pus, or fever. An abscessed tooth will usually need surgery to drain the infection and treat it properly. Treatment for dental abscesses can involve root canal surgery. 

If you are having a dental emergency contact our Parksville dentists as quickly as possible. Our team will do their best to see you as soon as they can.

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