By Dr Yannopulos · Published January 19, 2020

Tooth problems requiring emergency treatment

Tooth problems requiring emergency treatment preview image

Preview image for Tooth problems requiring emergency treatment

Emergency dental care helps reduce medical emergencies from escalating and also helps to preserve oral health. Dental emergencies can include issues like sudden uncontrolled bleeding, intensifying pain, swelling in the jaws and teeth, or trauma to the oral region. These medical conditions require immediate attention and helps to preserve the oral health of the person.

The following are some common teeth problems that need immediate attention.

Knocked out teeth

Knocked out teeth are seen commonly in emergency dental care. Teeth can get knocked out fully or can get dislodged partially due to accidents, sports injury or fall. Bleeding and pain will be experienced and sometimes swelling in the area may also be seen. By giving proper and immediate care, the tooth can be saved. If possible, the lost teeth should be retrieved and care should be taken to not touch the roots. Holding the top portion that is used for chewing, the tooth should be placed back in its original position. If the tooth is dirty, then it should be cleaned with water and then placed gently in its socket. The tooth should be kept moist always and if it cannot be placed back in the socket, it should be placed in a container with a little bit of milk in it.

Cracked or broken teeth

Cracked or broken teeth can cause pain and bleeding. In this case, care must be taken to stop the bleeding as soon as possible. The cracks can be small or big and can harm the entire teeth. In this the teeth do not get broken into two, but the cracks on the tooth surface can go to the root of the tooth and this can damage massive damage to the tooth. When tooth is chipped, it can be that a portion of the tooth breaks away.

All the above situations need care from the dentist. If the teeth are cracked, it might not affect the functioning of the teeth but as this usually affects the front teeth, the confidence of the person can be affected. Dentists will suggest aesthetic treatment to cover this up. Different treatment options like placing dental crowns or veneers etc. are available. If the fracture of the teeth is severe, then it will need a bit more complex procedure like a root canal.

Lost filling or crown

Losing a tooth filling or a crown can happen due to chewing hard food or saliva loosening the filling. If the tooth itself is decayed at the root, then the filling or crown can fall off. If there is pain or tooth sensitivity while consuming hot or cold food, then proper care must be taken immediately. If possible, take out the filling or crown from the mouth to avoid it being swallowed. Care must be taken to keep the tooth clean at all times before seeing the dentist. If the core of the tooth is exposed, then it must be rinsed after consuming food to remove any food debris sticking to it. This can bring on bacterial action and cause more damage to the teeth. If the teeth are sensitive, try to chew food on the unaffected side. Care must be taken to reduce damage to the teeth and one should be mindful of consuming less sugary food, hard to chew food and drinks that are very hot or cold. Dentists will perform dental procedures like placing dental crowns or veneers to save the tooth.

Broken braces

Dental emergencies with braces are not that common. But pain and discomfort require care if there are broken braces. Braces are usually made of wires and when broken they can poke into the soft tissues of the mouth. Some braces have brackets to support the teeth, they are fixed to the teeth with elastic, hence it is quite rare for the brackets to fall off, but they can move from their position. This will need support from dentists if it cannot be fixed at home. Sores also develop when braces rub against the soft tissues. Guidance from dentists should be sought if there are painful and is difficult to consume food. If there is trauma to the oral region while wearing braces, then the pain will be extreme. Wires can break and braces would shift from their position or even break. One can try self-fixing if they are sure of what needs to be done if braces break or poke. If unsure, it is best dealt with expert advice from the dentist.

Infection and pain

Infection in the oral region can be due to infection in the tooth or the gum tissues. Some infection that occurs on the floor of the mouth can be quite serious and can create breathing difficulties. Infections in the oral region are dangerous because they travel to different parts of the body and can even cause heart problems. Infection can result from less than preferred dental hygiene. Bacteria act on the tissues of the mouth and cause infection. When initial signs of pain and swelling are noticed, they should be treated and not ignored. Regular dental consultations will help in diagnosing problem areas and start prompt treatment.

Injury to soft tissues

Injury can be caused by accidents, falls or any trauma to the mouth. The soft tissues in the mouth are sensitive and if injured they can be quite painful. Tongue, cheeks, gums and lips all can be affected due to injury. Bleeding, swelling in the area and pain are the common symptoms. Efforts must be taken to stop the bleeding and expert help from dentists must be sought as soon as possible.

Different treatments will be provided depending on the nature of the dental problem. A thorough dental examination is conducted to diagnose the actual problem and if required, X-rays will be taken to know the extent of damage. As the situation demands, the dental care professional will dress the wound to stop the excessive bleeding and provide pain killers to help with the pain.

If a dental emergency is treated in time, it can prevent further pain and complications. Check if your dentist has an emergency treatment facility, just so you are prepared for any eventuality.