Dental emergencies usually don’t happen when you expect them to. In fact, you can typically count on one to emerge at the most inopportune time you can think of. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to stabilize the situation until you can be seen by your emergency dentist. However, there are some types of dental trauma that require you to head to the emergency room. As you read on, you’ll learn what they are and the warning signs to be on the lookout for.
What is Usually Considered a Dental Emergency?
In general, any situation that causes a sudden downturn in your oral health is considered to be a dental emergency. It will usually be accompanied by pain, as it’s one of your body’s most effective ways of alerting you of a threat to your health.
Here are some of the more common types of dental trauma:
- Broken/knocked out tooth
- Severe toothache
- Broken/lost dental fixture
- Soft tissue cut that causes oral bleeding
No matter what type of emergency you may have, the most important step is to remain calm so you can effectively assess the situation. Then, you should reach out to your emergency dentist to explain what has happened and schedule a visit.
When Should You Head to the Emergency Room?
While there are steps to take to temporarily stabilize most dental emergencies until you can visit your dentist, some issues require more immediate attention. One of them is in the case of blunt force to the jaw that leaves you wondering if it’s broken. For such a matter, you can tie a cloth or some other soft material around your face to immobilize your jaw, and immediately head to a local emergency room.
Another problem that should be treated expeditiously is profuse bleeding. If you’ve lacerated your gums, tongue or other soft tissue inside your mouth, the typical way to respond is to gently apply a cotton gauze to stop the bleeding. If, after 10 minutes, you’re still losing blood, then you need to head to the emergency room for treatment.
Knowing is Half the Battle
While you can’t always prevent a dental emergency from happening, it’s valuable to know how to respond effectively. In some cases, making the right decisions could even help to preserve your overall health. If you find yourself dealing with any type of dental trauma, don’t hesitate to seek care from your emergency dentist to restore you to normal.
About the Author
Dr. Dennis E. Stansbury is a graduate of Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas. Throughout a career that has spanned over 40 years, he has certainly seen his fair share of dental emergencies; thus, he’s able to provide comprehensive and effective care. Dr. Stansbury helps patients overcome dental trauma at Stansbury Dental, and he can be reached for more information through his website.