Types of Dental Emergencies
Tooth aches: Tooth pain can be generally attributed to a broken tooth, as well as a new cavity or decay under an old filling. It may also be caused by damage to the tooth as a result of excessive grinding or clenching. Generally there is not a lot you can do about tooth pain other than see a dentist immediately and take some temporary pain relievers such as ibuprofen or Tylenol in the meantime.
Sore and swollen gums: Swollen gums are usually a result of infection from plaque and gum disease or from food becoming stuck in between teeth. One may try to gently brush or floss the affected area to try and dislodge any food that may be stuck or rinse the area with warm salt water. Otherwise it is important to see a Dentist as soon as possible.
Broken tooth: A broken tooth can occur as a result of the following: accidental falls, sports-related injuries, fighting, car accidents, or accidentally biting on hard food. They can also occur as a result of cavities that weaken the tooth which may cause chipping or fractures. Teeth with large portions broken off can often become very painful due to exposed nerves and internal damage. Teeth with smaller cracks or fractures may or may not be painful and can be more difficult to detect.
Lost crown: If your crown falls off, be sure to make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible and bring the crown with you. It is very important you do not use glue or any other adhesive to cement the crown back in place. Crowns are custom fitted and need special attention when cementing. Only your dentist can properly diagnose and determine if the crown can be recemented.
When your tooth is knocked out
Teeth are extraordinarily strong, but they can chip, fracture, or break. If a tooth is knocked out, or “avulsed,” it can often times be reimplanted by your dentist as long as the following measures are taken:
- Handle the tooth only by the crown (chewing edge) and do not touch the roots
- Do not try to brush or clean the tooth, only lightly rinse it
- If the tooth cannot be replaced, store it in a small container filled with whole milk or saliva
- Seek dental emergency service as soon as possible
Knocked out teeth have the highest chances of being saved when they are treated by the dentist and returned to their socket within 1 hour of being knocked out, so be sure to make an appointment for Bakersfield dental emergency service right away.
When your tooth is broken
If a tooth is broken, you must go see your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist will be able to figure out if there were any cavities involved in the breaking of your tooth and if the tooth’s nerve is in danger. In the event of a dental emergency even half an hour could mean the difference between being able to save the tooth or not.
When your tooth is cracked or fractured
Cracked teeth can often be difficult to detect, they do not show up in x-rays and may require several appointments to diagnose. Not all cracked or fractured teeth can cause pain. The level of pain experienced when one crack a tooth depends on the severity of the fracture and the response of the pulp to outside irritants allowed to enter into the tooth. Sometimes the tooth may look just fine, but is in pain when you eat something hot or cold. If the tooth simply hurts all the time, this could be a warning sign of nerve damage.
How to prevent cracked teeth
Cracked teeth are not fully preventable, but there are steps you can take to make your teeth less likely to crack
- Do not clench or grind your teeth
- Do not chew on hard objects such as popcorn kernels, pens, and especially ice
- If you clench or grind your teeth in your sleep, wear a custom made mouthguard to protect your teeth
- Wear a guard any time you play contact sports
Dr. Navid Safaei
- General Dentistry
- Veneers / Lumineers
- Same Day Treatment