What is Considered as a Dental Emergency?

Jan 01, 2022

Good oral hygiene and habits backed with regular dental cleanings and exams are an excellent strategy for excellent oral health. However, it’s not a guarantee for perfect oral health. Sometimes you might face a severe dental problem that may require immediate attention.

When this happens, having an emergency dentist ensures that you find the necessary help when you need it the most. Unlike your general dentist, an emergency dentist operates 24/7, meaning that you can reach out to them at any time of the day or week.

Knowing what problems need emergency attention could be the difference between saving a tooth and losing it. For instance, you might not need urgent dental care if you have a mild toothache. While it’s necessary to consult a dental professional as soon as possible, the issue can wait.

A dental emergency is an oral emergency that involves severe discomfort or life-threatening symptoms such as severe bleeding and facial trauma. If you have such symptoms, you need urgent attention – you can’t waste any minute thinking whether you need help. Contact your emergency dentist or seek urgent dental care near you immediately.

Types of Dental Emergencies

Below are three types of dental emergencies to watch out for:

  • Dental trauma

Dental trauma refers to any dental trauma or injury to the teeth, soft tissues, and periodontium. Dental trauma is more common in car and sports accidents. Possible injuries in dental trauma include:

  • Broken, chipped, or fractured teeth
  • Concussion
  • Soft tissue injuries to the lip, cheek, and tongue
  • Avulsion – when a tooth falls out of the socket
  • Subluxation – tooth mobility due to injuries to the supporting structures of the tooth
  • Intrusion – tooth pushed into the bone
  • Lateral luxation – a tooth is displaced, and bone fractured

Urgent care is not an option but a necessity for these problems.

  • Damaged fillings and restorations

Like your natural teeth, your dental work, such as braces, fillings, bridges, and crowns, is susceptible to damage. The restoration can break, fall out, chip, or get lost, especially when excessive pressure is applied. A damaged or lost restoration can’t protect you adequately, making you vulnerable to infections and other complications. Similarly, it can cause harm to the surrounding structures such as teeth, gums, and tongue. In worse cases, you can swallow them. You need to get them restored, repaired, or replaced immediately for these reasons.

  • Tooth extraction

In some cases, tooth extraction may require urgent attention. For instance, if your tooth has fallen out or it’s very loose, it’s essential to see a dentist, possibly within 30 minutes. If saving the tooth isn’t possible, extraction is crucial. Visit an emergency dentist if you have a severely damaged tooth.

Reasons for Needing an Emergency Dental Visit

  • Severe Toothache

Severe toothache is never a good sign. It could indicate several conditions, such as an infected tooth. While you can manage mild cases of tooth decay without emergency care, severe symptoms such as pain require emergency care. When a tooth’s pulp is infected, the nerve endings are exposed, which can cause severe discomfort.

  • Severe bleeding

While it’s normal to experience bleeding after tooth extraction or other dental work, urgent dental care is essential if the bleeding persists or worsens. As you wait to see the dentist, bite on a gauze to control the bleeding. Additionally, avoid spitting, smoking, drinking, eating, or sucking.

  • Swelling or sore gums

Sore or swelling gums is usually an indication of tooth infection or gum disease. The dentist will examine the gums and teeth to determine the cause of the swelling and provide the necessary treatment. If not addressed timely, tooth infection or gum disease may lead to tooth loss, among other complications.

  • Abscess

If you have a painful and swollen pimple on your gums, especially near a tooth’s root, it’s probably an abscess. If not eliminated, the infection can spread to surrounding gum tissue and teeth, leading to worse oral health problems. Visit an emergency dental clinic near you or contact your emergency dentist. Rinse your mouth with mild water or apply an ice pack on the affected area for temporary relief.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Are you looking for emergency dentistry in Knoxville, TN? Contact TLC Dental Care for more information.

865-247-5570 Request Appointment