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How to Know if You are Having a Dental Emergency or Not

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When you have a sudden dental concern, it might be difficult to tell if it only requires standard dental care or if you should be seeking emergency care. Our Coquitlam dentists discuss the different types of situations that you may experience and how to know when they are a dental emergency.

Dental Emergencies: Am I Having One?

If you suffer from any sudden and serious condition that affects your teeth or mouth then you are likely experiencing a dental emergency and should seek urgent dental care as soon as possible.

Some of the conditions that are considered an emergency include:

Broken teeth including ones that have been knocked out.

Any accident that results in broken or damaged teeth will be considered a dental emergency and you should have your teeth examined as soon as possible. The dentist may be able to repair the fracture or chip with a filling, whereas more serious breaks may need a crown or root canal.

If you are still within the first hour of the accident then the dentist might be able to place the tooth back into the socket and save it. The tooth has a better chance of taking root again within this time frame. After the two-hour mark, the chances decrease significantly, and alternative measures will have to be considered.

Any severe toothache that can't be easily relieved.

If you are experiencing a toothache then the first step that our dentists recommend is to take pain medication to help provide relief. if this doesn't help then you should apply ice to the area and contact your dentist as soon as possible, as this is considered a dental emergency.

While some toothaches may be a sign of a minor concern, they might also indicate a serious issue beneath the surface. You should always have tooth pain examined by a dentist.

If you have lost or misplaced a dental filling.

Once you lose a filling, your tooth will immediately begin to weaken and the interior will be exposed leaving the potential for infection. It’s important to see a dentist to have the filling replaced as soon as possible. You can protect the area until you get to the dentist by replacing the filling temporarily with a softened piece of sugarless gum.

Any object that you have stuck in your teeth and can't remove.

If you have an object lodged in your teeth and have been unable to remove it then you will need to seek emergency dental care to help clear the debris. If you cannot dislodge the object with floss, do not use a sharp object to attempt to remove it yourself as this could push it further between your teeth - or injure your gums.

A bitten tongue or lip that has been bleeding continuously.

If you are experiencing bleeding that can’t be quelled after biting your tongue or lip, you need to visit an emergency dental clinic. In the meantime, apply a clean cloth to the part of the mouth that’s bleeding and press down. Use an ice pack to reduce swelling, and look for urgent dental care.

A Tooth infection has led to a dental abscess.

A dental abscess is a buildup of pus which forms inside the teeth or gums. This very painful condition usually develops from a bacterial infection, often within the soft pulp of the tooth or the root of the tooth. They can be caused by a cavity that’s been left untreated, severe gum disease or perhaps a chipped tooth.

You may have pain, swollen gums a fever or an awful taste in your mouth, these are all symptoms of an abscessed tooth. An abscessed tooth will usually need surgery to drain the infection and treat it properly. Treatment for dental abscesses can involve root canal surgery. 

Are you concerned that you may be experiencing a dental emergency? Our Coquitlam dentists will make every effort to see you as soon as possible.

Treat yourself to a healthier smile. Contact our practice today!

(604) 931-5550