5 Common Dental Emergencies

5 Common Dental Emergencies

At Robison Dental Group clinic, we are committed to providing outstanding urgent dental care services to restore the health of our patients. While it is our hope that no patient ever gets to experience a dental emergency, here are some common cases to look out for;

  • Tissue Injury and Facial Pain

Tissue injury involves any type of damage to the inside of the mouth such as puncture wounds, a tear on the lip, mouth or tongue or lacerations. In case you experience any of the above injuries, first respond by cleaning the area with warm water. If there is bleeding and you can access the area, try putting pressure on it using a clean gauze and make arrangements to quickly see a dentist. If you are experiencing too much pain, you can take acetaminophen as per instructions on the package. However, you should never take aspirin or ibuprofen for a dental emergency as they are anticoagulants which can increase bleeding.

  • Chipped, Cracked or Fractured Tooth

A chipped tooth does not always demand for urgent dental care and you can wait for a more convenient time to see the dentist. You should however be careful not to chip the tooth further. Treatment may involves smoothening the tooth out or adding composite filling material to repair the damaged tooth.

On the other hand, a cracked or fractured tooth is a more serious issue and requires immediate medical attention. Usually, the damage to the tooth is on the inside as well as on the outside. If the fracture is severe, it may be impossible to save the tooth. If you suspect a fractured tooth, clean the mouth with warm water, apply a cold compress to the area and take some acetaminophen for the pain. Do not use a painkiller and make arrangements to have a dentist assess the damage.

The treatment offered for cracked and fractured teeth will depend on the extent of the damage. Common options include dental crowns, dental implants or a root canal in cases where the soft tissue is damaged.

  • Dental Abscess

This is an infection that affects the aw, mouth, throat and face. It often begins as a tooth or gum infection or a cavity. It stems from poor dental care. An abscess forms when harmful bacteria from an existing cavity extends into the soft tissues and bones of the face and neck. It causes pus pockets to collect on the affected area which becomes progressively painful until the pocket ruptures or drains. The symptoms of an abscess include pain, swelling and soreness. When the infection becomes more advanced, you may also experience nausea, fever, vomiting and even diarrhea. It is important to have an abscess treated as soon as possible to prevent the infection from spreading to more risky areas like the head and neck.

  • Knocked-Out Tooth

Every tooth plays a vital role in your oral health. Having a tooth or more knocked out is therefore a serious issue that you need a medical expert to evaluate. There is chance of having a knocked-out tooth re-inserted and the sooner you seek help the higher the chances of successful treatment. Visiting the dentist within the first hour of losing a tooth will increase chances of successful re-insertion.

  • Periodontal Disease

This is also known as gum disease and it is an infection affecting the gums around the teeth. It is also the biggest cause of tooth loss in adults and while everyone is susceptible to it, factors like smoking and diabetes significantly put you at risk. Poor oral hygiene can also result in the disease. Research also indicates that there could be a connection between periodontal disease and heart disease. The symptoms of gum disease include bad breath, swollen and bleeding gums, sensitivity and pain when chewing.

A periodontitis infection usually damages the soft tissue around the tooth and eventually destroys the bone supporting the tooth. There are different types of the infection and they include;

  • Chronic Periodontitis – This is more common in adults although children can also be affected. It is caused by build up of plaque and causes slow deterioration that may improve or get worse with time. If you fail to get treatment in time, the gums and bone will be destroyed leading to tooth loss.
  • Aggressive Periodontitis – It usually begins in childhood or early adulthood. It causes advanced bone and tooth loss.
  • Necrotizing Periodontal – This is a severe type of infection that stops blood flow to gum tissue, tooth ligaments and supporting bone, causing them to die. It is mostly common in people with suppressed immune systems such as HIV and cancer patients.
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