Mouth pain or dental trauma can occur for numerous reasons, such as sports injuries, car accidents or oral infections. Many dental problems can wait until regular office hours to see your dentist. For more serious dental matters, it is imperative to contact your local emergency dentist for care.

When a dental emergency strikes, you need to act quickly to alleviate the pain and repair your tooth before it gets worse. Here is a brief look at how to identify a dental emergency and when to seek emergency dental treatment.

What Is a Dental Emergency?
A dental emergency is any oral health issue that requires urgent care from a dental professional to save a tooth, alleviate severe pain or stop uncontrollable tissue bleeding. A true dental emergency can lead to serious health problems without proper care.

Here are a few scenarios when emergency dental services may be required:

  • You knocked out a permanent tooth. Anytime an adult tooth falls out or becomes loose, it is considered a dental emergency. If the tooth is still intact, your dentist may be able to reattach it. For a tooth that is completely knocked out, try to locate the tooth and gently reset it into the socket. If this is not successful, store the tooth in a small container of milk or saliva and see an emergency dentist as soon as possible.
  • Your tooth is broken, chipped or cracked. For most cases, a small chip or crack in a tooth can wait until regular office hours for treatment. Large fractures in a tooth, however, usually require quick attention from a dentist. A severe break accompanied by pain or swelling may indicate that the damage has extended to a tooth’s inner tissue.
  • You are experiencing severe, persistent oral pain. Tooth pain can occur for a variety of reasons. However, if that pain is long-lasting or unbearable, the tooth may be infected. In cases where tooth discomfort is becoming increasingly worse, contact your dentist right away to discuss how to reduce the pain.

Prevent Emergency Dental Issues
Like many injuries and accidents, not all dental emergencies can be avoided. Fortunately, there are steps you can take now to decrease the risk for unexpected dental trauma and pain:

  • Avoid chewing on hard candies or ice.
  • Always wear a protective mouthguard when playing high-impact sports, such as lacrosse and football.
  • Never use your teeth to open bottles or tear packages.
  • Practice daily oral hygiene to protect teeth and gums from dental diseases. 

Contact McLean DDS for Emergency Care
Dental emergencies can cause pain, lead to permanent damage and require invasive, costly dental procedures. Acting quickly might mean the difference between losing and saving a tooth. If you have swelling, it is important that you make an appointment with us as soon as possible to avoid closure of the airway. If you have questions about urgent dental care, talk to our team to learn more about preventive measures.

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