A dental emergency is a dental problem that requires immediate attention and treatment. Examples of dental emergencies include instances when a person is experiencing uncontrollable bleeding, severe pain, facial bone trauma, or has lost or damaged a tooth. As the name suggests, dental emergencies can occur without prior warning and at any time.
Here at Brentwood Dental Spa, we are your premier option for emergency dental treatment in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles. In this blog post, we will highlight common dental emergencies that you should not ignore. From lost and cracked teeth to abscesses and severe tooth decay, these examples of dental emergencies should be treated as soon as possible.
In some cases, such as a knocked-out tooth, it will be clear that emergency dental treatment is required. Other cases may not be so clear and people often try to ignore the symptoms. However, if you are suffering sudden pain, bleeding, bad toothache, or any other warning signs, do not delay in seeking treatment.
Teeth Damaged From Injury
When playing sport or performing any rigorous activity, our teeth can be susceptible to damage. One of the most common types of dental emergencies is knocked-out teeth, which can happen as a result of a fall or during contact sports.
If you have lost a tooth, it is important to act fast in order to increase the chances of saving it. The first step is to locate the tooth; only ever hold it by the crown rather than the root. If the tooth is visibly dirty, you can briefly rinse it under cold water.
If you are able to, it is recommended that you reposition the tooth back into its socket. Otherwise, place the tooth either in your mouth next to your cheek or into a container of milk.
You should then visit an emergency dentist as soon as possible, ideally within 30 minutes of losing the tooth. The earlier you act, the greater the chance that the tooth can be saved.
A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus and can occur in different regions of the tooth, such as the teeth, gums, or the bone that hold the teeth in place. It is caused by a bacterial infection and it is essential that emergency dental treatment is sought to limit its impact on the mouth and the body as a whole.
Two examples of tooth abscesses include periapical abscesses and periodontal abscesses. The most common symptoms of a tooth abscess include:
- Throbbing pain in the affected area
- Pain that increases when lying down
- Pain that spreads to the jaw, ear, and neck
- Bad breath
- Shiny and swollen gums
There are different emergency treatment options for a tooth abscess, depending on the exact nature of the issue. Treatment options include incision and drainage of the affected gum, root canal treatment, and extraction of the affected tooth.
Broken or Cracked Tooth
Also known as a fractured tooth, this dental emergency occurs when there is a break or crack in the tooth’s enamel.
The severity of the damage can vary. Some shallow cracks may not be painful, while other cracks can actually result in a split tooth, affecting the root itself. The latter, in particular, is a dental emergency that requires immediate treatment.
Broken or cracked teeth can occur for a number of reasons, including:
- Playing contact or extreme sports
- Using teeth to open containers or bottles
- Chewing hard objects
- Grinding the teeth
Depending on the severity of the issue and the nature of the case, there are different treatment options available. One option may be to glue the chipped fragment back onto the rest of the tooth. Other options include applying a filling or crown over the tooth, or performing a root canal treatment.
Unexpected tooth pain may be an indication of a fractured tooth. Rather than assuming that the pain will subside on its own, you should seek immediate dental treatment.
Severe Tooth Decay
Tooth decay refers to damage to the tooth’s surface, or enamel, and occurs when bacteria produce acids that attack the enamel. Cavities are parts of the teeth that have been permanently damaged.
When tooth decay is left untreated, the pulp at the center of a tooth may become damaged and infected. The pulp may then start to die and people often experience pain when biting or chewing food.
There are different treatment options available for cases of severe tooth decay. The bacteria within the tooth may be cleaned out during a root canal procedure, for example. The tooth may also be extracted and replaced with an implant.
As with the above issues, the sooner that tooth decay is addressed, the better. Unaddressed tooth decay can result in serious infection and tooth loss.
Common Dental Emergencies You Shouldn’t Ignore
Dental emergencies are not a pleasant experience. Just as you would visit the accident and emergency department of a hospital if you broke a bone, dental problems necessitate equally swift action and treatment. Following the above steps will help you to mitigate the symptoms and reduce the overall damage following a dental emergency.
For professional dental emergency treatment that you can count on, trust the expert team at Brentwood Dental Spa. We are proud of our reputation as the leading dental service in Brentwood and the greater Los Angeles area. If you suffer a dental emergency, don’t delay; contact our team today and get the fast treatment you need.