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What Is Considered a Dental Emergency?
What Is Considered a Dental Emergency?

Accidents happen. You can take precautions to avoid some, but not all of them. Sometimes accidents affect the teeth and gums, and sometimes sudden pain develops in the mouth due to an infection. Any of these events are considered a dental emergency.

There are measures you can take to prevent some dental problems from happening; they are not always inevitable. Some of them you can deal with at home, some you cannot. The question is: Which is which?

Types of Dental Emergencies 

A dental emergency is a situation concerning your teeth and mouth that requires quick dental treatment. This treatment may be necessary in order to avoid a permanent loss of a tooth, to ease pain, or to treat an oral infection. If an oral infection is ignored, dental emergencies can lead to life-threatening conditions such as heart disease. 

Note: If bleeding is excessive and is not stopping, or if there is oral trauma, go to an emergency room. The emergency personnel will provide immediate treatment and will notify your dentist.

The following conditions require a prompt visit to the dentist’s office:

Fractured Tooth

A fractured tooth is a typical dental emergency, especially in athletes. When it happens, follow these steps:

  • Save any pieces of the tooth that you can salvage, and keep them in milk to help maintain their integrity.
  • Rinse your mouth with warm water.
  • Apply a cold compress on the outside of the mouth near the fractured tooth to keep the swelling down.
  • Seek immediate care from a dentist.

Luxated Tooth (Loose Tooth) 

A luxated tooth occurs when the tooth is loose but not completely knocked out. It can be pushed forward, backward, or sideways. However, you should not move it to avoid completely pulling it out. If your tooth is loose, contact your dentist for treatment as soon as possible.

Avulsed Tooth (Tooth Knocked Out) 

This injury happens when the tooth is completely knocked out of the mouth. If this happens:

  • Do not touch the root of the tooth.
  • Only hold the tooth by its crown, which is the exposed part in the mouth.
  • If the tooth has any dirt or debris, gently rinse it with warm water.
  • Put the tooth into a small container of milk. If you don’t have milk, put it in warm water with a pinch of table salt.
  • Call your dentist’s office and tell their emergency contact what has happened. 

Your tooth has a higher chance of being saved, and successfully re-placed back into your mouth, if you see a dentist within an hour after it is knocked out.

Mouth Bleeding 

Bleeding in your mouth can be due to injuries to the soft tissues: cheeks, gums, tongue, and lips. Here are the first-aid steps to do if your mouth is bleeding: 

  • Immediately rinse your mouth with a mild saltwater solution.
  • Using moist gauze or a tea bag, apply gentle pressure to the bleeding area.
  • Using your other hand, apply a cold compress on your cheek near the affected area to control the bleeding and relieve pain.
  • If the bleeding does not subside within a few minutes, seek immediate medical care.
  • Continue applying pressure on the bleeding area until you are seen and treated by your dentist or another medical professional.

Other dental emergencies that require quick dental care (within 24 hours) are a lost filling, lost crown, broken braces wires, and loose brackets. Should something lodge between your teeth, try to remove it with dental floss, not a pin or another sharp object; if you cannot remove it safely, seek dental care right away.

Dental Emergency Care In Merced, California

Our caring and experienced dentists at El Portal Dental Group in Merced, California, are trained to perform treatments on all types of dental emergencies. Contact us right now if you have an urgent dental issue.