When you find yourself dealing with a dental problem, you may be unsure whether you need to see a dentist urgently or are fine to wait until the next available routine appointment. It may be tempting to try and manage the problem yourself at home, particularly if it occurs over the weekend or during a holiday, but there are some oral health conditions that should be treated as an emergency in order to prevent infection, tooth loss or unnecessary suffering. If you are experiencing bleeding from the mouth, oral swelling or incurred trauma to the mouth, you should be seen by a dentist right away. Read on to find out about three oral health conditions that are considered a dental emergency.
If you have a tooth knocked out, it's possible a dentist may be able to save the tooth if you are seen right after it happens. Take your tooth to an emergency dentist, and they will try to reinsert the tooth into the socket and secure it in place with a composite or soft wire splint. If the tooth was not damaged, it can reattach to the bone within a few weeks.
Cracked Or Chipped Tooth
If you have a cracked or chipped tooth, you should see a dentist right away, as cracks on the surface of a tooth can allow bacteria to enter the soft pulp and root of the tooth, which can lead to a bacterial infection developing. Bacterial infections can lead to tooth loss, so your dentist will seal the tooth to prevent an infection from developing and to protect your tooth from decay.
A dental abscess occurs due to bacteria entering a tooth. Abscesses cause excruciating pain and are characterised by the presence of a pocket of pus in the tooth socket or along the gum line. Without prompt treatment, the bacterial infection can spread to your jaw and surrounding tissues, and if it spreads into your blood, you can develop sepsis, which is life-threatening. Your dentist will drain the abscess and may need to carry out a root canal procedure to save your tooth. This involves cleaning the bacteria out of the soft pulp and tooth socket, and you will also require a course of antibiotics to eradicate the infection.
If you're experiencing any of the above dental problems, or if you have severe dental pain, swelling or bleeding, contact a local emergency dentist right away for further information.