How to Know if You are Having a Dental Emergency or Not

Many people will have a dental emergency at some point, sometimes as a result of underlying oral health conditions or injuries. Our London dentists provide advice about how to know if your dental issue is an emergency, and what to do.

What is a dental emergency?

Any problem with your teeth, mouth or gums that requires urgent dental treatment is a dental emergency. Specifically, this can include:

Broken, Chipped, or Knocked Out Tooth

A broken or chipped tooth can usually be repaired, but it will necessitate immediate dental attention. A filling may be enough to repair a fracture or chip, but more serious breaks may necessitate a crown or root canal.

For teeth that have been knocked out, a dentist may be able to replace the tooth within an hour of the incident. Within this time frame, the tooth has a better chance of regaining root. After two hours, the chances are significantly reduced, and alternative measures must be considered.

Severe Toothache

If you have a toothache that you cannot relieve with over-the-counter pain relievers, apply ice to the affected area and contact your dentist as soon as possible, as this is considered a dental emergency.

Toothaches can indicate serious dental problems, so they must be taken seriously.

Lost Filling

A missing filling is also dangerous because it exposes the interior of your tooth and weakens its structure. It is critical to see a dentist as soon as possible to have the filling replaced. You can protect the area until you can see the dentist by temporarily replacing the filling with a softened piece of sugarless gum.

Object Lodged Between Teeth

Objects getting lodged between the teeth can present a hazard and warrant urgent attention from your dentist. If you cannot dislodge the object with floss, do not use a sharp object to attempt to remove it yourself as this could push it further between your teeth - or injure your gums.

Bitten Tongue or Lip

If you are experiencing bleeding that can’t be quelled after biting your tongue or lip, you need to visit an emergency dental clinic. In the meantime, apply a clean cloth to the part of the mouth that’s bleeding and press down. Use an ice pack to reduce swelling, and look for urgent dental care.

Dental Abscess

A dental abscess is a buildup of pus which forms inside the teeth or gums. This very painful condition usually develops from a bacterial infection, often within the soft pulp of the tooth or the root of the tooth. They can be caused by a cavity that’s been left untreated, severe gum disease or perhaps a chipped tooth.

A bad taste in your mouth, swollen glands, pain, pus, or fever are all possible symptoms. An abscessed tooth usually necessitates surgery to drain the infection and properly treat it. Root canal surgery may be used to treat dental abscesses.

Are you experiencing a dental emergency? Our London dentists will make every effort to see you as soon as possible and can often offer same-day appointments.

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