A dental emergency, such as a severe toothache or broken tooth, can happen at any time. Ideally, you’ll be able to see your dentist quickly in such situations so that you can have the problem treated, get symptom relief and protect your oral health. However, there may be a delay between the time the problem develops and when you can see your dentist. In such cases, there are steps that you can take at home to manage the problem until you are able to get care from a professional.
Dental emergencies can have serious consequences for both your oral health as well as your overall well-being. While it may seem that discomfort is the primary concern with a severe toothache, this symptom can actually indicate the presence of a severe infection known as an abscess. The bacteria found in an abscess can easily access the patient’s bloodstream and spread throughout the body, creating the conditions for a potentially life-threatening condition known as sepsis.
Additionally, if you fail to get prompt attention for a dental emergency, you may be risking tooth loss. Of course, there are less severe effects that can result from a dental emergency as well that are irritating, although they are relatively minor, such as a small chip in a tooth.
Unless you are bleeding severely, experiencing extreme pain or have suffered a facial fracture – all of which may warrant attention at the emergency room – the first thing that you should do if you’re in the midst of a dental emergency is contact our office to schedule an appointment. We are able to accommodate emergency visits on a daily basis. Even if your problem is happening after our regular business hours, you can reach us via our answering service to get guidance.
You may take some steps to manage symptoms on your own until you can be seen at our office. Try taking an over-the-counter painkiller or use a topical painkiller to address toothaches, but don’t place an aspirin directly on the tooth! Doing so can actually damage your gums. If your tooth is knocked out, try to re-insert it (gently!) into the socket. If you can’t, store it in a container of milk or a Save-A-Tooth solution and visit our office as soon as possible – preferably within the hour for the best chance at saving the tooth.
Some dental emergencies develop because patients procrastinate on getting their regular check-ups and dental cleanings, giving a relatively minor problem the opportunity to progress and become an urgent issue. Be sure that you’re reducing your risk of such emergencies by getting your routine dental care.
For additional tips or to schedule your next visit, contact our team at Towson Dental Care today.