You have a painful toothache that has derailed your plans to watch the Crimson Tide play at home. Your main concern is how to get some relief, and you’re also wondering, “Is this a dental emergency?” As you continue reading, a local dentist explains when you need emergency dentistry and the different levels of severity of dental trauma.
What is a Dental Emergency?
A dental emergency is any situation where there is a sudden change in the condition of your oral health that causes either pain, bleeding, tooth loss or a damaged fixture. The urgency in responding depends on the severity of the injury. Whatever type of dental emergency you have, here are two things you should do:
- Remain Calm – This may seem easier said than done, but it’s imperative to remain calm when you suspect you have a dental emergency. That’s because you’ll need to be able to think clearly about what steps to take next.
- Contact Your Emergency Dentist – One of the most comforting things you can do when you have a dental emergency is to reach out to the trained staff at your dentist’s office. You’ll provide them details of what has happened, and you’ll be instructed on the best ways to proceed.
What to Do for a Toothache
If you have a toothache, here are some of the steps you can take to get some relief:
- Carefully floss around the affected area to attempt to remove any food that may be wedged between your teeth and is causing the pain sensation.
- If that doesn’t work, then you should reach out to your emergency dentist for assistance because you could have a dangerous infection that needs treatment.
- Meanwhile, you can take ibuprofen for pain relief and to reduce any swelling.
- Apply an icepack to the outside of your jaw for swelling as well.
A toothache is just one of many types of dental emergencies that can occur. It helps to know how to respond to some of the other common forms of trauma.
How to Respond to a Knocked-Out Tooth
If you have a dislodged tooth, it’s a definite dental emergency, and you should immediately reach out to your emergency dentist. Meanwhile, grabbing the tooth by the crown (the wider part), carefully reinsert it in your mouth.
If that isn’t possible, then place the tooth in a cup of milk until you can visit your dentist to have it reinserted.
What to Do for a Suspected Jaw Break
This is an example of a more acute emergency. If you’ve received a blow to the face or you’ve sustained a fall that has left you with severe jaw pain, then you could possibly have a broken jaw. You should immediately head to the emergency room to be examined.
The Bleeding Won’t Stop
An injury to the soft tissues in your mouth can cause bleeding. Usually, you can stop it by applying gentle pressure with a cotton gauze, but if that doesn’t work and the bleeding persists for more than 10 minutes, then you should head to your local hospital.
Dealing with a dental emergency is never your idea of how to spend a day, but by knowing how to recognize some of the common types, responding correctly and receiving the expert care of your emergency dentist in West Mobile, you can soon recover and get back to screaming “Roll Tide!”
About the Author
Dr. Hube Parker is a proud graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry, and he has been a fixture in the Mobile community for over 25 years, providing the best in dental care. As an expert, he shares his knowledge as a part-time instructor at the UMC School of Dentistry (with a focus on root canal treatment). Dr. Parker helps patients recover from dental emergencies at Parker Dental and Orthodontics, and he can be reached for more information through his website.