Common Dental Emergencies
There are dental situations where it’s very clear that you need to see your dentist right away. Some of the most stressful and frightening dental emergencies include the following:
- Knocked out tooth
- Severe toothache
- Broken tooth
- Damaged or lost restoration
- Damaged cosmetic dentistry
- Broken appliance
- Soft tissue damage
- Cracked tooth
It’s not your job to know if you have a tooth infection or a minor cavity, gum disease or receding gums. Your dentist is the one to diagnose your condition and, in true dental emergencies – when the teeth and gums are severely threatened – make recommendations for immediate repairs and get to work.
Are You Experiencing a True Dental Emergency?
Any of the above circumstances qualify as a true dental emergency, but there are even more symptoms that point directly to the need for immediate dental care:
- Difficulty eating: You should never have pain when eating. There could be any number of oral health problems if eating causes you discomfort.
- Chronic pain: Your pain threshold might be high, but that doesn’t mean your tooth problem is getting any better. Ongoing pain is a sign that something is wrong and you need your dentist’s help to fix it.
- Severe swelling: This might just be irritation, but it could also be an abscess which, if left untreated, can lead to severe health problems as well as a dental emergency
- Excessive bleeding: There are so many blood vessels in the mouth so a lot of bleeding might seem scary but it doesn’t always indicate a major problem. Let your dentist make the determination.
While you may be willing to wait out any discomfort you’re experiencing, not tending to your oral health right away can be the difference between an easy repair and a more serious dental emergency. Always call your dentist’s office to describe your situation if you suspect a dental emergency, no matter how small.
Preventing Dental Emergencies
You can try to prepare for a dental emergency and have a dental first aid kit ready but the most important thing a person can do for their oral health is work on prevention. It is possible to prevent some dental emergencies by:
- Taking care of your teeth and gums with daily at-home dental care
- Visiting your dentist twice a year for checkups and teeth cleanings.
- Going to the dentist when you have any oral health problems before they become worse.
- Not using your teeth as a tool to open packages or chew on non-food items.
- Wearing a mouthguard during sports to protect against injury.
- Wearing a nightguard at night to prevent damages from teeth grinding and clenching.
What to Expect at Bethesda Family Dental in a Dental Emergency
Millions of people seek treatment for dental emergencies every year, but many of these individuals go to an emergency room rather than calling their Bethesda emergency dentist. While an ER can deliver temporary relief, they are ill-equipped to address the root of the problem. It is so important to seek care from an experienced professional in case of dental emergencies. Dentists are properly trained to address any situation that comes their way and reassure patients that what they’re experiencing can be repaired.
If you are having a dental emergency, call us at Bethesda Family Dental in Bethesda, MD, to find out what you should do next, whether you need a same-day appointment, and how to take care of your oral health until you arrive at our office.