What are common dental emergencies?
Some common dental emergencies may range from toothaches and broken teeth due to a sports injury or children chipping their teeth after playing around in their backyard.
To help you to further understand what a dental emergency is and the impact it may have on your oral health, we have outlined the most common cases we receive and some tips on how to manage an emergency once one occurs.
Types of dental emergencies:
Cracked, chipped or broken tooth
If you sustain a cracked, chipped, or broken tooth you should see your dentist immediately. Leaving your tooth untreated may lead to further issues such as tooth loss or exposing the inside of your tooth to bacteria.
Some common cases we receive at Coastal Dental Care are young children chipping their teeth from playing outside or in the school playground. For unexpected cases like this, we make sure our Oral Health Therapists and Dentists have available time in their schedule each day to help restore their lovely smile!
We understand that the pain may be unbearable and sometimes might require further treatment or care to help ease the pain, but by visiting your dentist as soon as possible, they can help resolve the issue quickly.
Discomfort following treatment
For treatments such as a wisdom tooth removal, root canal treatment or dental implants, your mouth needs time to heal and recover.
If you experience any unexpected pain or discomfort from a treatment that you have received, you should contact your dentist immediately to understand why the pain is occurring and how it may be treated.
If you develop a toothache and the pain is too severe to bear, you may need the assistance of an emergency dentist as it may be the result of an underlying issue that could require further treatment. Some causes may be from an infection, impacted tooth or even your wisdom teeth.
If the pain persists or becomes unbearable, you should see your dentist.
Sporting injury or dental trauma
Sporting impacts are a common dental emergency case on the Gold Coast. Most of our cases come from contact sports such as Rugby League, AFL, or even Hockey. Most patients receive broken/chipped teeth or an impacted tooth or jaw, which may be caused by a heavy collision.
If you suffer a damaged tooth because of an impact during a game, it is important to seek out an emergency dentist immediately. Especially, if your tooth has been completely knocked out.
In this case you should make sure you bring that tooth with you to the dentist so that they can help you restore your smile.
Dental abscess or infection
A dental abscess may be caused by a bacterial infection which often results in a pocket of pus forming within your gum. Often bad bacteria can make its way into your teeth through plaque that is not removed or cleaned from your teeth after eating or brushing. Therefore, it is important that you brush and floss daily to help prevent issues such as these from occurring.
Typically, an abscess may present symptoms such as:
Bad taste within your mouth
A ‘pimple’ on your gum
Pain when biting or touching the affected area
Leaving an infection untreated may cause it to spread into other parts of your mouth or body. Therefore, it is essential to diagnose and treat the infection before it progresses.
How to manage dental emergencies
If you have just had an accident involving your tooth or experience symptoms such as a toothache or swelling, there are a couple of things you may do to help relieve some pain.
Applying a cold/warm compress to the affected area may help to relieve some pain or swelling associated with your tooth. For issues such as an infection where your tooth may be a little sensitive or painful, rinse your mouth with warm, salty water. This can help to remove bacteria or food that might be trapped between your teeth without irritating the area with your toothbrush or floss.
If you, or someone else calls our practice on your behalf, when booking an emergency appointment, we may ask questions such as:
Are you experiencing pain?
Where is the tooth located? Upper, lower, left, or right?
Have you taken anything for pain relief?
Is your tooth sensitive to anything hot/cold or sweet?
Answering questions like these will help us to be able to prepare for your arrival to our practice.
If you have knocked your tooth out of your mouth the best place for it until you seek dental treatment is in your mouth between your cheek and gum. For children, there is a risk they may swallow it so you may want to place it in some milk or in a Ziplock bag to avoid possible contamination.