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How to Know if You are Having a Dental Emergency or Not

Dental emergencies can be a frightening experience, but how do you know if you need to seek professional care? Our London dentists offer some advice on the different types of serious situations and what you can do if you think that you may be having a dental emergency.

Dental Emergencies: When should you call the dentist?

Any problem with your teeth, mouth or gums that requires urgent dental treatment is a dental emergency. Specifically, this can include:

Dental Damage

A broken or chipped tooth can usually be repaired but will require urgent dental care. The dentist may be able to repair the fracture or chip with a filling, whereas more serious breaks may need a crown or root canal.

For teeth that have been knocked out, a dentist may be able to put the tooth back in place within approximately an hour of the incident. The tooth has a better chance of taking root again within this time frame. After the two-hour mark, the chances decrease significantly, and alternative measures will have to be considered.

Intense Toothaches

If you experience a toothache you cannot manage with over-the-counter pain medication, first, apply ice to the area and contact your dentist as soon as possible, as this is considered a dental emergency.

Toothaches are a major indicator of more serious concerns and should be taken very seriously.

Misplaced Fillings

A lost filling is also serious as it exposes the interior of your tooth, weakening its structure. It’s important to see a dentist to have the filling replaced as soon as possible. You can protect the area until you get to the dentist by replacing the filling temporarily with a softened piece of sugarless gum.

Debris Stuck in Teeth

While most debris can be dislodged from your teeth using floss, there are some instances where this isn't possible nd you will need the assistance of your dentist to remove it. If you cannot dislodge the object with floss, do not use a sharp object to attempt to remove it yourself as this could push it further between your teeth - or injure your gums.

Bleeding Tongue or Lip

If you bite your lip or tongue and have been unable to stop the bleeding then you should contact your primary dentist or nearest emergency dental clinic right away. In the meantime, apply a clean cloth to the part of the mouth that’s bleeding and press down. Use an ice pack to reduce swelling, and look for urgent dental care.

Dental Abscess or Infection

If you suffer from a dental abscess then you have a pocket of pus that will be building up in your teeth or gums. This very painful condition usually develops from a bacterial infection, often within the soft pulp of the tooth or the root of the tooth. They can be caused by a cavity that’s been left untreated, severe gum disease or perhaps a chipped tooth.

The symptoms of a dental abscess are the same as an infection with pus, pain and fever being most commonly reported. An abscessed tooth will usually need surgery to drain the infection and treat it properly. Treatment for dental abscesses can involve root canal surgery. 

Do you think that you may be having a dental emergency? Our London dentists will make every effort to see you as soon as possible.

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