Dental Emergencies: What Are They and When Should You Seek Help?
While none of us want to deal with them, dental emergencies can, unfortunately, strike at any given moment. At Mirage Dental Arts, our emergency dentist in South Miami is happy to provide emergency dental care to all of our patients. However, it can be challenging to determine when you may need emergency dental services, what counts as a dental emergency, and what can be addressed by a doctor rather than a dentist. In this blog post, we tell you all you need to know about dental emergencies.
Can You Visit the Hospital For Emergency Dental Care?
If you are dealing with a life-threatening condition such as a broken jaw that has made it difficult for you to breathe and swallow, you should make your way to the nearest emergency hospital. Serious medical problems such as these can be addressed by the medical doctors and nurses on staff.
Visit the hospital for the following emergencies:
- Dislocated or fractured jaw
- Large dental abscess obstructing your airways
- Deep lacerations in the mouth or face that will not stop bleeding
If you simply have a toothache, you won’t need to visit an emergency room doctor for treatment, and you likely won’t have any success doing so anyways. ER doctors are not trained to diagnose and treat toothaches, and the only thing they will be able to do is prescribe antibiotics and painkillers until you can see a dentist in Kendall.
What is the Role of an Emergency Dentist?
An emergency dentist near you works to diagnose and treat the cause of your discomfort in the quickest, most efficient way possible. For example, a severe toothache could indicate that you have a serious cavity that has penetrated the tooth pulp. It could also mean that you clench and grind your teeth during the night. The only way to know for sure is to see a dentist right away.
What Counts as a Dental Emergency?
Since individuals often experience concerns with their teeth, gums, and tongues, it can be tough to determine which concerns warrant an emergency visit to a dentist in South Miami and which can wait for an appointment. Here are some common scenarios that require emergency dental care:
#1 Broken Tooth
If you have a fractured or broken tooth, you will need to get to a dentist as soon as possible. Try to rinse your mouth with warm salt water to relieve pain and remove bacteria from the area. If you can find the broken tooth pieces, bring them with you to the dentist, as they may be able to reattach the pieces.
Even if the break or fracture is not causing you pain, you should still see a dentist as soon as you can because a break or fracture leaves your teeth and gums more vulnerable to infection and decay.
#2 Persistent Toothache
While a toothache may not be a reason to head to the hospital, it is more than enough reason to seek emergency dental care from a qualified dentist. Toothaches are among the most common reasons that people seek emergency dental services. You can take anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen and rinse your mouth with warm salt water to ease your discomfort when you notice a toothache.
When you get to a dentist, they will be able to examine your mouth and determine the cause of your pain, whether that be a hairline fracture at the base of your tooth or an infected root canal. Either way, they will be able to identify the underlying cause and provide you with the necessary treatments.
#3 A Lost Dental Crown or Filling
While having a previous dental restoration fall out of your mouth may seem like a minor inconvenience, it is vital that you get to a dentist near you as soon as possible to have the filling or crown replaced. Without these restorations, the affected tooth will be susceptible to infection, sensitivity, and pain.
#4 Bleeding Gums
While it is normal to experience minor bleeding if you have just started to floss for the first time, if you notice bleeding gums often, or if the bleeding does not stop within a few minutes, you will need to make your way to an emergency dentist. Often, bleeding gums can be a sign of infection in the mouth, which can cause serious complications if not addressed.
#5 A Knocked-Out Tooth
When a tooth is knocked completely out of its socket, it is important that you look for the tooth right away. When you locate it, handle it only by the crown, gently rinse it under warm water, and try to place it back into its socket. If you do not think you can do this, you can hold the tooth between your inner cheek and gums or place it in a shallow container of milk to keep it moist.
Head to an emergency dentist right away because if you are able to get treatment within an hour of the incident, a dentist will likely be able to reattach your tooth to its socket.
#6 An Abscessed Tooth
Dental abscesses often appear as small pimples on the gums. While they may seem harmless, these abscesses are filled with pus and clearly indicate infection present in the mouth. While it may be tempting, it is vital that you do not pop the abscess, as this can allow the infection to spread throughout your body. Instead, visit a dental professional and have them carefully and expertly drain the abscess and provide you with the antibiotics your body needs to heal.
Visit Mirage Dental Arts
If you ever find yourself in the middle of a dental emergency, please do not hesitate to reach out to our dedicated team of dental professionals at Mirage Dental Arts. Our dentist, Dr. Katherine Lorenzo Sirage, is highly experienced and happy to assist you with all your emergency dental needs. No matter what the situation, we are confident that we can help alleviate your pain and restore your oral health.