A dental emergency may occur at any time. Simple habits, such as chewing on ice, can cause a tooth to chip or crack. Likewise, engaging in sporting activities without a mouth guard can result in a dislodged tooth or other mouth damage.
Once a dental emergency occurs, prompt treatment is needed to avoid further damage and salvage your teeth. Here a few dental emergencies and why immediate treatment is needed.
Damage to the Tooth Structure
A chip or crack in a tooth can breach the protective enamel layer of the tooth material. As a result, bacteria that are in the mouth while the tooth damage remains untreated can invade the tooth structure.
Once the bacteria reach the soft living material in the center of the tooth, the material may become inflamed, resulting in irreparable damage to the dental nerves. Damage to the dental nerves can cause chronic pain that may only be treatable with an extraction or an endodontic procedure.
After you contact an emergency dentist about your chipped or cracked tooth, you should schedule your appointment as soon as possible. In addition, to help your tooth remain clean until you reach the dental office, you can rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water. Also, to reduce any pain from the damaged tooth, a cold compress can be applied to the outer cheek that overlies the injured area.
Soft Tissue Injuries
The tongue, gums, and other soft tissues of the mouth can easily be injured. Once the tissues are damaged, you may experience a large amount of bleeding. To help control the blood flow from the wound until your dentist can assess your mouth, apply pressure to the damaged area with a piece of gauze. Additionally, rinse your mouth with salt water repeatedly.
Soft tissue injuries may require stitches or other restorative applications to help the wounds heal.
A tooth that has been knocked from the mouth needs to be placed back in its original position as quickly as possible for reintegration in the socket. If you have a dislodged tooth, rinse any dirt or debris from the tooth and place the tooth in the pocket of your cheek or in a glass of milk. These measures can keep the soft tissues that are attached to the tooth as moist as possible. Once the tissues dry out, they can die, making the reintegration of the tooth more difficult.
If you are experiencing a dental emergency, contact an emergency dental office like Centre Family Dentistry.