A dental emergency is a situation that requires immediate attention from a dental professional due to severe pain, injury, infection, or risk of permanent damage. Some common dental emergencies include:
Severe toothache: Intense, persistent pain that doesn't subside with over-the-counter pain relievers and prevents you from functioning normally could be a sign of an underlying problem, such as an infection or an abscess.
Knocked-out tooth (avulsed tooth): If a tooth is completely dislodged from its socket due to trauma, immediate dental care is necessary to try and save the tooth.
Loose or displaced tooth: If a tooth becomes loose or is pushed out of position due to an injury, immediate dental care is required to stabilize the tooth and minimize the risk of further damage.
Broken or fractured tooth: A severely cracked, chipped, or broken tooth, especially when accompanied by pain, requires prompt dental attention to prevent further damage and infection.
Lost filling or crown: If you lose a filling or a dental crown, the exposed tooth may be sensitive, and there is a risk of further damage. Immediate dental care is necessary to protect the tooth.
Dental abscess: An abscess is a painful, pus-filled swelling, often caused by a bacterial infection. If left untreated, the infection can spread to other areas, leading to serious complications.
Soft tissue injuries: Injuries to the lips, cheeks, tongue, or gums that result in severe bleeding or damage may require immediate dental care.
Orthodontic emergencies: Broken braces or wires that cause severe pain, injury, or difficulty eating may require urgent dental attention.
If you experience a dental emergency, it's crucial to contact your dentist or visit an emergency dental clinic as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can take some measures to alleviate pain and minimize further damage, such as applying a cold compress, taking over-the-counter pain relievers, and rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater. However, these measures should not replace professional dental care.