Is this a true dental Emergency and when to contact a 24/7 emergency dentist.
Having any kind of emergency can be stressful. Besides the pain, there’s also the wonder of who you should call and where you should go. That’s usually a big question when it comes to dental emergencies. Often times a 24/7 emergency dentist is a good option, if you have one in your area. At Lincoln Family Dentistry, we know that emergencies can easily overwhelm anyone and we’re here to help. In our article we’ll cover:
- What should I consider a dental emergency? We’ll explain dental pain and help you decide if a 24/7 emergency dentist can help you.
- Can a tooth infection cause facial swelling? Yes, and a dental abscess could be to blame.
- What should I do if my tooth breaks off? Our dentists can help you decide.
There are several reasons why the conditions in a mouth can change quite suddenly. When this happens, it can require you to see an 24/7 emergency dentist. Swelling, discomfort, broken teeth, and even bleeding can occur. Many times these issues occur when there are lapses in home-care routines, illnesses, the taking of certain medications, injuries, bacterial infections, or the aging of restorations. It is a recommendation when these situations arise to see a 24/7 emergency dentist as soon as possible; however, in certain situations, a lapse of a few days before being seen will not actually cause any real harm.
Here at Lincoln Family Dentistry, we have designed a guide for you to aid you in considering the risk of waiting a few extra days or weeks before contacting 24/7 emergency dentist if you believe your situation may be in fact a dental emergency. There are home remedies that can be helpful short-term. It should be noted, however, that any change that takes place has the potential to increase in intensity over time and should be examined right away. Additionally, we recommend calling your dentist before undertaking any home-care remedies so that he can ascertain whether or not they are appropriate for your current situation or for any pre-existing conditions.
Dental Emergency #1:Pain. Do you need a 24/7 emergency dentist?
- Call a 24/7 Emergency dentist if:
If you ever are experiencing significant pain or any pain that lingers in the mouth, call your dentist. The following are a list of symptoms that you should be sure to mention if you are experiencing them:
- Pain that lingers or that is shooting
- Pain from hot or cold temperatures
- Pressure of biting causes pain
- Pain that is waking you from sleep
- Pain that throbs
- Swelling in the face or cheeks
- Fever along with pain
Do not ignore a toothache. It is not uncommon to sprain a tooth and experience some sort of achiness for a few days when chewing. There could even be a generalized achiness in several teeth because of habits such as clenching and grinding. It is also typical for a tooth to have cold sensitivity if it has been recently bleached or there is gum recession. However, if a single tooth begins to consistently ache or throb, you can be sure that there is something more serious occurring. You should contact your emergency dentist right away or contact our Lincoln 24/7 emergency dentist.
In the meantime, there are some over-the-counter medications that are able to help alleviate the discomfort. This does not heal the tooth though. Do not allow yourself to believe that there is not a problem just because regular pain relievers take the pain away. The problematic conditions that caused the toothache initially are still there and will continue to worsen, with or without pain medication.
Dental Emergency #2: Swelling. Do you need a “24/7 emergency dentist near me?”
- Call a 24/7 emergency dentist if:
If swelling begins to set in, an abscess is able to develop very quickly. This can happen even if you are not experiencing pain. Call an emergency dentist as soon as you can if you have the following symptoms:
- A swollen cheek.
- A white bump on your gums.
- Go to the Emergency Room if:
- Swelling increases visibly.
- There is discoloration of the skin.
- You have swelling that spreads across the face or down the neck.
Swelling is a symptom that should never be ignored. When swelling develops, the immune system is attempting to react to an infection and the inflammation can increase rapidly. Swelling that occurs in the check or on the gums in the form of a white bump is caused by a dental infection. There may not be pain, but dental treatment should be sought as soon as possible.
If you do not treat tooth and gum infections, they can lead to more than just dental problems. Infection anywhere in the body puts stress on the whole immune system. So, not only will mouth infections lead to tooth or bone loss, but they can lead to a massive systemic infection or even death.
Dental Emergency #3: Broken Teeth or Restorations. Do you need a 24/7 emergency dentist?
- Call a 24/7 emergency dentist if :
Even if there is no pain, call your 24/7 emergency dentist within a few days if you suffer a broken tooth. Although it may be safe to wait several days or a couple of weeks before seeking treatment, it is impossible to determine until you are examined by a dental professional. Your 24/7 emergency dentist can offer you safe and effective advice. You can use this advice short-term until you go in for treatment.
- Go to the Emergency Room if:
If along with breaking your tooth you have suffered a head injury, or damaged your jaw, go to the Emergency room first before contacting your dentist. If you are experiencing a concussion, it is a serious condition that your dentist will not be able to treat. Additionally, an severe bleeding or cuts to the face should be treated in the emergency room before consulting your dentist about injuries to the teeth or jaw.
There are many reasons why a tooth or a filling or even a crown can break. Not only do they age and gradually weaken over time, but accidents happen. Biting on something very hard can have unforeseen consequences. If this happens to you, do not hesitate or wait to address these dental issues. If there is no pain, or if the breakage/damage is slight, it is still imperative that you contact your dentist soon so that the both of you can determine how long you are able to wait before a consultation about the matter. While is many cases broken dental work or natural teeth are able to wait a few days without increased damaged, a conversation with your dentist is the only way to determine that and how soon dental treatment should be completed. Always contact an emergency dentist in a dental emergency.
Before getting in to see an emergency dentist, there are some things you can do at home to help maintain comfort. Always be wary when searching for home remedies online or even when considering the well-meant advice of friends or colleagues. Seek the safest advice from a 24/7 emergency dentist who will take your specific medical history into consideration.
Never Do this at Home!
Although you have several options when attempting to make your broken tooth or restoration more bearable when waiting to see the dentist, it is always a good idea to speak with your emergency dentist on the matter first. They will be able to inform you of the temporary home-care remedies that are most appropriate for your condition. The following are things that you should NEVER attempt at home:
- If you knock out your tooth, never try to re-implant the tooth on your own. There are accidents that occur where the tooth is knocked completely out of its socket, with the root intact. This is called an avulsed tooth. They are more common in children than adults, but nevertheless, can still happen to adults. If this happens, there is a chance that a dentist can re-implant the tooth. If you can find the tooth, a successful re-implantation depends on the accomplishment of the following steps:
- Rinse the tooth off with water, but do not use any sort of soap or disinfectant.
- Place the tooth in a cup of cow’s milk. Soy, etc. will not be sufficient.
- Get to your emergency dentist as soon as you can.
- Do not try to re-implant the tooth by yourself!
Re-implanting a knocked-out tooth is time sensitive. The longer you wait, the less chance of success there is for reimplantation. However, your life is more important than a single tooth; if you have any concerns about any other serious injuries you might have sustained during the accident, get to an ER. Take the tooth with you in a cup of milk, because there may be an oral surgeon available at the hospital to assist with re-implantation of the tooth while your other injuries are being cared for.
- Never use super glue or any other type of glue to recement a broken tooth or broken crown, In addition, you should never use glue on their consequential pieces. Glue is not safe to use inside your mouth. Also, your dentist will have difficulty removing any super glue from your teeth and will likely destroy a restoration that could have been mended.
- If your crown has come off, do not wear it with anything but the temporary cement your dentist gave you. It can be easy to forget that your crown is not cemented into place, which can cause you to swallow it while sleeping or eating. If you swallow a crown that has sharp edges, it can cause damage to your soft tissues such as the esophagus. In the event someone swallows a crown, and it causes you to choke or cough, aspiration can occur. Aspiration is extremely dangerous. Most pharmacies will carry temporary dental cement, and it is a great in-home solution to use until you can to your dentist and have the crown permanently recemented.
- Do not wait more than a week to permanently re-cement a crown. The temporary cement that works for a time is not adequate in sealing and guarding against decay for long periods of time. More so, if you choose not to wear the crown at all until you are seen by your dentist, the position of the remaining tooth structure might shift. It might be a requirement to have an entire new crown made, if it is impossible to recement the old crown.
- Never use sticky glue or gum to “glue” down a crown or piece of tooth in place. These are not effective and they can also feed cavity-causing bacteria, which will damage your existing tooth structure.
- Never use any sort of sharp metal object or power tool inside your mouth in trying to smooth out a sharp edge. See your dentist as soon as you can if a broken tooth is sharp enough to cut your tongue or cheek. In the meantime, use a small ball of orthodontic wax to cover the sharp edge. This is available at most pharmacies. In addition, it will help avoid any cutting inside the mouth until your dental appointment.
The information on this page was written by Dr. Kelly O’Hara.
This gentle Lincoln, NE dentists says: “I perform gentle dentistry for the entire family and focus on children’s dentistry, extreme smile makeovers, cosmetic dentistry and placing mercury-free dental fillings. Moreover, I also want to provide a better quality of life to patients who have lost their teeth by making implant retained dentures. I have many goals, but one that is very important to many of us: to keep dentistry affordable by taking all of the primary dental plans and by also offering dental payment plans to patients that seek them. I am fully committed to making sure all patients feel comfortable while in my care.”
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