Some dental emergencies only affect a single tooth, while others are part of a more complex medical emergency.
Common dental emergencies include:
Some dental emergencies stem from advanced decay. These conditions include gum and pulpal abscesses, swelling or bleeding gums, or intense tooth pain.
The first step in responding to a dental emergency is to assess your immediate surroundings and take steps to secure your safety. For example, if you've been involved in an auto accident and suffered a traumatic injury to your teeth, you must exit your vehicle safely and move to a secure location.
Next, check to see if you have serious medical injuries that require emergency care. If you sustained an injury during an athletic activity, be sure to stop and sit down to assess your condition. Many people go into shock after a tooth injury, and you don’t want to be on a field, on your bike, or in harm’s way if you begin to feel faint or nauseous.
If it appears that your injuries don’t extend beyond your dental concerns, contact Dr. Barrera immediately to determine your next steps.
A knocked-out, or avulsed, tooth is a serious matter. In some cases, it’s possible to save the tooth if you take the proper steps immediately following the injury. Knowing what to do makes the difference between a saved or permanently lost tooth.
Begin by handling your tooth very carefully, and avoid touching the portion of the tooth that was beneath your gum line. Rinse your tooth gently with milk or water to remove debris.
Don't wipe the tooth’s surface, and keep it moist by soaking it in milk. If milk isn’t available, place the tooth back into your mouth between your cheek and gum. You can also try setting the tooth back into its position in your gum tissue.
If your child suffers a lost permanent tooth, it may be better to place the tooth into a small cup and have the child spit into the cup to cover the tooth with saliva.
Most importantly, call Dr. Barrera right away for an emergency dental appointment.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!