A dental emergency is any urgent dental problem that requires immediate treatment after business hours, over the weekend, or on a holiday. Common dental emergencies include teeth that are cracked or chipped, lost, abscessed, infected, or otherwise painful.
What Would Cause You to Lose a Tooth?
The most common reasons for losing a tooth are due to either an injury or gum disease. Injuries, such as a car accident, 'slip and fall,' or even a bar fight, can cause teeth to be knocked out, fractured, chipped, or otherwise damaged. Additionally, gum disease is an infection of the gums that can lead to tooth loss if left untreated.
How Can You Save a Tooth?
If you have gum disease, working out a treatment plan with your dentist is important. Gum disease is a slow-moving process. If caught early, your dentist will be able to avoid any tooth loss.
If you have a cracked or chipped tooth, gently rinse your mouth with lukewarm water. You can also use a cold compress on your check to reduce any swelling from the accident. Call your dentist right away to schedule an appointment.
The American Association of Endodontists states that over five million teeth are knocked out each year due to injury or accident. They further report that while your tooth can be saved, you must act quickly. It is important to try and save the tooth. Find the tooth, rinse it off gently with water, and try to insert it back into the socket.
If you are unable to do this, place the tooth in a cup of milk. Then, call your dentist right away and go to the office as soon as possible.
If you cannot put your tooth back in the socket or cannot get to a dentist right away, you can try to place the tooth in milk. The lactose in milk will help keep the tooth alive by providing it with nutrients and minerals.
No matter what type of dental emergency you have, it is important to see your dentist right away. If you're unsure if you have a dental emergency, err on the side of caution and call your dentist. They will be able to tell you whether or not you need to come in for an appointment immediately.
Anyone can have a dental emergency at any time. Knowing what some of the most common types of emergencies are and how to handle them quickly and effectively can minimize the amount of damage done to your teeth and possibly save a tooth.
Talk to a dentist in your area to learn more about emergency dental services.