What Is Considered a Dental Emergency?

No matter how much you brush and floss your teeth, you never know when a dental emergency can occur. It can be hard to determine what constitutes a dental emergency when you’re going through one, but there are a few telltale symptoms that you should look out for before you rush over to your dentist’s office.

woman with boxing gloves punching man in the mouth creating a dental emergency

  • Bleeding

    Whether you’ve recently had dental surgery and are going through the healing process or you’ve broken or knocked out a tooth, excessive bleeding is not normal and should be taken seriously. See your dentist right away if you experience excessive bleeding, especially if you’ve just knocked out a tooth.

  • Swelling

    Swelling is a common symptom if you have tooth decay, gum disease, have complications from oral surgery, or have chipped or broken a tooth. It’s always important to speak with your dentist before you have oral surgery to know how much swelling you can expect and when you should be concerned. If you feel swollen to the point of immense pain, don’t hesitate to call your dentist.

  • Recent Injury

    If you’ve injured your mouth, tongue, or jaw and are in pain, head to the dentist as soon as possible. It’s important to get an x-ray done to determine the source of your injury and potential treatment plan.

How to Prepare for an Emergency

Not all dental offices offer emergency care, so you should always ask your dentist if they can accommodate dental emergencies and who you can contact if they don’t offer emergency services.

How to Handle a Dental Emergency

First, remain calm. Even emergencies go more smoothly when you stop, take a deep breath, and proceed with a calm mind!

If you’ve knocked out a tooth, run to the fridge and pour a glass of milk. If you can keep your tooth in that glass of milk and head over to your dentist within the hour of you losing your tooth, they may be able to reattach it!

For swelling and pain, try to ice your cheeks for ten minutes until you notice a reduction in your swelling or pain. If you are able to do a salt water rinse to flush out any bacteria in the affected area, go ahead and do so once or twice a day to decrease your chances of developing an infection.

Although emergencies are understandably unavoidable sometimes, there are a few things you can do to prevent them. If you play sports, always wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth and soft tissues from injury. Brush and floss your teeth twice a day to curb your chances of developing tooth decay and gum disease and experience painful swelling and bleeding. Don’t forget to visit your dentist twice a year for examinations and cleanings!

At Kildaire Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we want you and your family to have access to comfortable and affordable oral health care no matter the circumstance. This is why we offer same-day emergency appointments as well as walk-ins for emergencies. Be sure to call us at (919) 246-4620 right away so that we can fit you in our schedule. We don’t want you to endure pain for longer than you have to!