Dental Emergencies

  • Tooth ache
  • Abscess, swelling
  • Fractured or chipped tooth.  Lost or broken filling
  • Lost crown
  • Knocked out tooth
  • Broken braces
  • Pain due to ill fitting dentures
  • Inflammation around wisdom tooth
  • Trauma due to accident
  • Pain on biting

1. Tooth aches: There can be an intense pain which can be either continuous or one that comes and goes giving sleepless nights. This pain be aggravated by hot or cold. There may be several reasons for tooth aches. These include abscessed or decayed tooth, big cavities, exposed roots, severe gum disease, trauma to tooth from accident, inflammation around wisdom tooth, pain on biting to name a few. It can be jaw or muscle related too.

The dentist will be able to determine the source of pain with the help of x rays, visual examination and patient’s signs and symptoms

2. Abscess/ swelling: If there is an infected tooth in the mouth, one can get an abscess which may be localized and if it is not treated promptly can lead to a big swelling in the face. The dentist needs to be seen immediately to identify the source of infection and to treat them.

3.Fractured, Chipped tooth or knocked out tooth: This can happen either due to trauma, due to underlying caries, heavy biting or grinding or just the tooth being naturally week. The tooth in such situation has to be restored with a filling or protected by a crown. Tooth can get knocked out completely due to a fall or a blow. Sometimes the same tooth can be put back into the socket if the dentist is seen within an hour. It is important to put the tooth in cold milk and bring it over to the dentist. Milk keeps the root surface moist.

4.Lost or broken filling: Although the fillings are kind of permanent, there is always the potential for some or all of the filling material to dislodge. There could be various reasons and these include: Dental decay developing underneath the filling, Heavy chewing or biting or grinding which can weaken and break the white or silver filling, change in medical conditions, medications and change in diet which can compromise the longevity of the filling.

The symptoms of the lost filling can be increased sensitivity to hot and cold or sweets, roughness or sharpness which can be felt and others.

5. Lost crown: Gold or porcelain crowns are cemented using a very strong cement. But sometime over a period of time these crowns can dislodge. The dentists than determines whether the same crown can be cleaned and put back or if the tooth needs some further treatment and a new crown needs to be fabricated.

6. Broken braces: Sometimes the wires used in braces dislodge or break. The sharp wire can cut the oral tissues and cause irritation and at times ulcers. The dentist may be able to fix this problem or may have to refer to the orthodontist.

7. Pain due to ill fitting or new dentures: It is not very uncommon to find some sore spots or ulcers when the patient wears the dentures for the first time. This can also happen due to ill fitting dentures. It is very important for the patient get this rectified as soon as possible. Otherwise the sore spot can take a long time to heal and the patient may not be able to wear the denture at all.

8. Inflammation around the tooth: This is called as Pericoronitis. The soft tissues around a partially erupted tooth can be inflamed for certain reasons. This can be due to accumulation of bacteria beneath the flap/gum as this area becomes hard to clean with the tooth brush. Sometimes the opposing tooth can also impinge on this flap and aggravate the problem. The dentist may have to prescribe some medication and then cut the flap or at times remove the tooth.

9. Pain on biting: Can be due to recently done fillings which can be little high on occlusion. These needs to be adjusted and the patient feels immediately better

10. Trauma due to accident: This can a blow or an accident which needs immediate attention. The dentist usually takes x- rays to see the extent of damage. If it involves broken bones, may have to refer to oral surgeons.

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