Should you go to the emergency room for tooth pain?
Accident causing tooth injuries can happen at any time and emergency rooms throughout the nation have seen an increase in the number of patients seeking treatment for dental pain. The majority of these patients suffer from dental decay that could easily have been prevented.
Emergency rooms are meant for specific dire situations. If you have an infected abscess or if the pain is unbearable and seems to be spreading along your jaw or neck or if your mouth is bleeding and it has not stopped, you need to head to the emergency room.
Going to the emergency room can be costly and most hospitals don’t have the facilities or staff to provide comprehensive dental care. When a dental emergency occurs, seek emergency dental care with Stonelodge Dental as soon as possible.
Types of Dental Emergencies
There are many types of dental emergencies. Here are some of the most common dental emergencies:
- Toothaches – You’ll first want to use warm water to rinse your mouth. If your tooth is causing swelling, press a cold compress against the outside of your cheek or mouth. Take some ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help with the pain, but chances are you’ll need a stronger pain reliever that only your dentist can prescribe. Toothaches can become extremely painful, so don’t wait too long to get in to see the dentist.
- Cracked Tooth – Use warm water to rinse out your mouth and clean the area. You can use a cold compress pressed up against your face to bring down any swelling. Get in to see the dentist as soon as possible since a cracked tooth can quickly become a bigger problem.
- Broken Teeth – Cracked teeth can easily turn into broken teeth, or an injury can cause a broken tooth. Save any pieces of your broken tooth. If you notice a lump of dental pulp or reddish flesh sticking out or if there’s a broken line going up your tooth, get in to see your dentist right away.
- Loss of Permanent Tooth – If you have a mouth injury that leads to a loss of one of your permanent teeth, you’ll require immediate treatment. If possible, find the tooth. Then rinse the knocked-out tooth in water and refrain from scrubbing it. Try to place the tooth back in place, holding it at the crown versus the roots. Place it next to the lost tooth opening between the cheek, if you’re unable to put it in its original location. If you can’t put your tooth back in its socket or if you have a danger of swallowing it, preserve it by placing it into a cup of fresh milk.
- Bleeding From Your Mouth – If you’re experiencing mouth bleeding, it could indicate a more serious condition. If you notice blood on your dental floss, it typically means you have gingivitis or gum disease. However, if you notice it in your saliva, this could be something more serious like advanced gum disease or even cancer. See your McKinney dentist for gum disease treatment if you spot blood on your floss. Blood on your floss or toothbrush isn’t normal and requires prompt treatment.
- Oral Disease – Oral infections, pain or missing teeth can change how you eat, speak and socialize. It can affect your mental, social and physical well-being, reducing the quality of your life. Often overlooked, however, are tender and bleeding gums. It might seem minor, but this is a subtle sign of oral disease. A chronic mouth problem is serious and you shouldn’t ignore it.
- Partially Dislodged Tooth – If this occurs, get immediate treatment from your dentist in McKinney. Use a cold compress to relieve your pain and get to your dentist’s office. Just apply it to the outside of your cheek or mouth at the area affected. You may also take an over the counter pain reliever in the form of acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help relieve the pain.
- Something Stuck Between Your Teeth – Try dental floss at first to remove the object gently. If the object won’t dislodge, go to your dentist and have them remove it.
- Mouth Injury – if you have an injury to your jaw or you have a distorted-looking jawline, you’ll want immediate emergency treatment. Keep your face as still as possible until you get medical attention. If you bite your tongue, cheek or lip and you can’t get the bleeding to stop, seek emergency medical help.
- Abscess – An abscess is an infection occurring around your tooth root or in the space between your gums and teeth. This infection is severe and can damage your surrounding tissue and teeth. An abscess can also potentially spread to other areas of your body if you don’t have it treated. You can rinse your mouth with a solution of mild salt water. This will help draw the pus to the surface and relieve your pain. Rinse several times each day until you get to your dentist’s office.
- Lost Filling – Place a piece of sugarless gum temporarily into the cavity or use over-the-counter dental cement. Call for an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. If you leave your tooth untreated, you could start to experience pain and it could become infected.
- Lost Crown – If you have a crown fall off, schedule an appointment with the dentist right away. Make sure you bring your crown to your appointment. If the tooth is painful and you can’t get to your dentist immediately, apply some clove oil on a cotton swab to the sensitive area. You can buy clove oil at your grocery store in the spice aisle or at the local drug store.
- Loose Bands and Brackets – Reattach loose braces temporarily with some orthodontic wax or place the wax over your braces to create a cushion. See your orthodontist as soon as possible.
- Broken Wires and Braces – If you have a wire break or it’s sticking out of a band or bracket and gently push the wire back into a more comfortable position. Use orthodontic wax to cover the end if you aren’t able to reposition the wire. Don’t cut the wire since you could swallow it or breathe it into your lungs.
Tooth Injury Prevention
- There are things you can do to prevent certain injuries to your teeth. These prevention measures are:
- Don’t chew ice, hard candy or popcorn kernels. These can crack your teeth.
- Wear a mouthguard when you participate in recreational or sports activities.
- Don’t use your teeth to rip something open — use scissors.
- Brush and floss your teeth and gums regularly.
- Schedule a dental visit twice a year for a thorough oral exam and a cleaning.
- Don’t wait until you have a problem with your teeth or mouth to see a dentist.
Find a McKinney dentist near you
Call our McKinney, TX office at the start of any dental pain. If you have lost a tooth, crown, or filling, try to keep the tooth or restoration moist. Teeth are strong, but they will crack and shift after an injury or the loss of a bridge or crown. If the crack extends to the root, or the loss of a tooth or crown leaves sensitive tissue or nerves exposed, the pain can be excruciating. Our emergency care dentists will always treat your pain immediately upon examination, and fix the problem or advise you of a plan to address the cause of the pain.
If you’re having a dental emergency in McKinney, Frisco, Prosper or surrounding communities, contact Stonelodge Dental and request an appointment. We strive to handle most dental emergencies compassionately and quickly.