My own experience of dental emergencies is somewhat limited; the first occurred during a house move when my parents thought it would be a good idea to unpack my bike first and leave me to play while they coped with the allegedly second most stressful event in their lives. I managed to perform some exciting acrobatics and break a sizeable chunk off one of my front teeth. This no doubt helped to make that second most stressful event just that little more stressful.
Since then, I’ve been lucky; the resulting cap occasionally falls off when I’m talking to annoying people, but that may be more to do with my tendency to fiddle with it when disinterested. With this limited experience of dentistry and a dental emergency, you can imagine my horror when faced with a screaming child pointing at its mouth. With the old “stop whining” line failing miserably, I’ve been forced to find out what you’re supposed to do in a dental emergency.
So, getting a bit more serious now, any head injury should be not be taken lightly Whether it’s a fall from a bike, a bump during a kick around or a rather sudden descent of the stairs, these common childhood ailments can result in lost, strayed or broken teeth. However, they can also result in concussion, and this should be your first concern. Dizziness, sickness, and nausea are all apparent signs, but if in doubt, it’s the best policy to visit your local A&E.
If, however, you’ve discounted concussion, but there have been some apparent injuries to a tooth or teeth, then a call to emergency dentists is the best action. You’ll notice that dentists, like all professionals, can inadvertently blind you with science. This can often serve to make you feel like a slightly worse parent than you already did, so I’ve included some of the technical phrases to help you approach the situation with an of calm, command – even if you’re panicking like mad!
One of my teeth is Avulsed
Avulsed teeth, or an avulsed tooth, means “completely knocked out” and is likely to cause a lot of pain and bleeding. Contact a practice that provides dental emergency services as quickly as possible. In the case of adult teeth, it’s important to try and take your tooth with you – assuming you can find it – as if you can have treatment in the first hour, there’s a chance of saving the tooth.
Hanging by a thread
Teeth that have been knocked severely but not knocked out may be out of position or hanging from the gum attached by tissue. If possible, try to secure the tooth, but contact the dentist straightaway and get treatment quickly. Through the midst of pain, you’ll hear the mention of the phrase “extruded” tooth, which is how the professionals will describe the injury.
Not so Technical Breakages
A broken tooth is not; it has to be admitted, the most technical term. It can, however, be painful, especially where there has been nerve damage. Not all dentists will consider this a dental emergency. However, especially in the case of children, you’ll want to get treatment as quickly as possible. For adults, if the pain can be managed and there are no sharp edges, which may cause further damage, it may be possible to wait until regular opening hours but, if in doubt, call the dentist emergency number.
An infection in the gums under the teeth can result in an excruciating swelling, which will not cause immediate damage to your teeth. However, an abscess can be considered a dental emergency as it can cause long term damage if not treated quickly. Pain killers will help in the short term and use mouthwash to cleanse your mouth and limit the spread of the infection. Abscess pain can be manageable until the surgery re-opens, but make sure to get treatment as soon as possible.