A dental emergency is any urgent problem that requires immediate treatment. Dental emergencies can be painful and frightening, but it's important to stay calm.
Common dental emergency situations include:
- Chipped or broken tooth
- Broken wires/brackets on braces
- Severe toothache that causes difficulty chewing
- The mouth is swollen due to an infection
- Cracked, loose, or damaged dentures
- Bitten lip or tongue
- Objects stuck in the mouth
Emergency dentistry services provide patients with prompt treatment to address urgent oral health concerns, including severe pain, swelling in the mouth or the gums, and facial traumas.
How Do I Know If My Situation Constitutes An Emergency?
If you're in pain, you likely have some kind of emergency on your hands. We understand how upsetting it can be to deal with unexpected injuries, such as a broken tooth or loosened filling; however, it's important to realize that these injuries can be potentially dangerous if not addressed in a timely manner. That being said, some emergency situations require immediate attention, while others can wait until office hours. If you're not sure whether or not your situation requires emergency care, call Dr. Roshan right away! If any of the following situations apply to you, you should call our office right away.
- I have a toothache.
If you experience a sudden, sharp pain in your mouth, you may have an abscessed tooth or a cavity that has eaten through the enamel and dentin layers of the tooth. Both of these conditions can lead to serious problems, including infection and pain that makes it difficult to function normally. For situations like these, you'll need to see Dr. Roshan as soon as possible so we can help relieve the pain and treat the underlying cause of the pain.
- My tooth has been knocked out.
If a tooth has been knocked out of your mouth, you must act fast in order to save the tooth and prevent infection. Gently rinse the knocked-out tooth with water and carefully move it into its original position. If you cannot reposition it, put the tooth in a glass of milk and bring it with you to your emergency appointment.
- My temporary crown came off.
If your temporary crown falls off before you're ready to have your permanent restoration placed, you need to make an appointment to have it recemented to your tooth as quickly as possible. Leaving your temporary off for too long can cause damage to the exposed tooth underneath, which will require even more restorative work in the future to fix.
- I chipped my front tooth.
Sometimes accidents happen to your teeth when you least expect them. If you find yourself with a chipped or fractured front tooth, it's best to see Dr. Roshan for cosmetic repairs right away. Otherwise, your tooth is likely to continue to shift into different positions over time, making it harder to repair later on.
- I've been hit in the mouth.
Whether it was a sports injury, a car accident, or another traumatic event that caused trauma to your mouth, it's important that you see Dr. Roshan right away.
- My veneer is chipped.
If your veneer is chipped or broken, schedule an appointment with Dr. Roshan at the earliest. If the chips are minor, Dr. Roshan will be able to smooth out the veneer's porcelain using dental contouring. However, if the veneer is broken or cracked, it may need a replacement.
A toothache, or tooth pain, is a sudden discomfort that affects one or more teeth. Over-the-counter pain relievers may provide relief from mild pain; however, it’s best to contact a dentist if at-home remedies don’t help.
If you have a toothache, it’s important to pinpoint its cause so you can avoid that trigger in the future. Common causes of toothache include:
- Periodontal disease – This condition happens when bacteria in plaque build-up and infect the gums. If left untreated, the bacteria can destroy the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults.
- Tooth decay – Decay occurs when acids in the mouth eat away at the enamel of a tooth. Certain medications can cause dry mouth, which can also lead to tooth decay.
- Teeth clenching and/or grinding – Clenching is a subconscious action that can be done during the day or while sleeping. Grinding is also closely related to bruxism, which is the term used for involuntary nighttime teeth clenching and grinding. These habits wear down tooth enamel and cause increased sensitivity over time.
- Oral trauma – If you experience an injury to the face or mouth, it can create jaw pain and tooth pain as well. Jaw fractures or damaged fillings are common sources of oral trauma.
- Abscessed tooth – A pimple-like infection can form on the gums or at the root of the tooth. This can result in severe pain and pressure in the affected tooth and the surrounding gum tissues.
- Sinus issues – If you have persistent sinus symptoms such as congestion or a runny nose, this can cause pain in the teeth and face. This is caused by inflammation of the sinuses.
Who Is At High Risk of Toothache?
Everyone has suffered from a toothache at least once in their lives. However, some people are more at risk of experiencing it than others. This list includes the following:
- Those who have tooth decay
- Those who play sports
- Those who have tooth grinding
- Those who have existing deep fillings or crowns
- Those with bite problems
What Can I Do To Minimize Toothache?
A toothache can be very painful and uncomfortable, especially when you don’t know why it’s happening or what you can do to stave it off. Here are some helpful prevention tips that you can start incorporating into your routine today!
- Practice great oral hygiene
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Treat teeth with fluoride
- Visit your dentist regularly
- Wear a mouthguard while playing sports
- Address bite issues
- Avoid acidic foods and drinks
- Try an over-the-counter numbing gel
To learn more, visit Georgetown Cosmetic Dentistry at 2440 M Street, NW, Suite 328, Washington, DC 20037, or call (202) 785-4141 for the best dental care.