There are very few things more terrifying than a dental emergency. When you have unexpected and acute pain in your mouth, or you are suddenly holding one of your teeth in your hands, or you have serious bleeding, a dental emergency can quickly become dangerous if left untreated. We here at Palo Alto Oral Health encounter many different types of dental emergencies in our office, ranging from the severe to the more routine, and we treat every single one of them with care, skill, expertise, and – of course – compassion.
What are Some of the More Common Types of Dental Emergencies?
There is much confusion about what warrants a dental emergency and what may not be considered a dental emergency. To help shed some light on the differences between a non-emergency and a dental emergency, these are some of the more common types of dental emergencies that could occur.
With rare exceptions, blood in your mouth is always a dental emergency. Of course, if you notice trace amounts of blood when brushing or flossing, this may be able to wait for a routine dental appointment and may be due to gum disease. (This can also be addressed during your appointment with us, but it can wait for a regular checkup.) However, if you sustain a sudden injury to your mouth and have a cut or laceration, this may be a dental emergency. If a tooth is dislodged, even partially, you may also have a dental emergency.
Pain is also a sign of a dental emergency. Not only can it be a clue of something dangerous, the sooner you get it addressed, the more comfortable you will be. Tooth pain can be quite miserable. It can indicate severe infection, decay, or even a dental abscess. A dental abscess can quickly turn deadly. We need to treat an abscess immediately to avoid serious complications.
What to Do in a Dental Emergency
If you suspect you have a dental emergency, then we may need to see you right away. If you have suffered from the sudden loss of a tooth, you can place the tooth in a glass of milk or even a small amount of your saliva. If your tooth is only partially dislodged, do not try to remove it yourself.
If you believe you may have an infection, we need to see you immediately. Without prompt intervention, the prognosis for your tooth and your health can be poor. This is because an abscess has quick access to your brain and your body, and the infection can spread to your brain or become systemic. It can be lethal in a very short amount of time.
You cannot risk ignoring a dental emergency. Not only can they be permanently disfiguring if they remain left untreated, but they can also be extremely life-threatening. Furthermore, you should not try to handle a dental emergency at home, as you could endanger yourself or your tooth. If you suspect that you are experiencing a dental emergency, or you simply would like to learn more about dental emergencies, please reach out to us here at Palo Alto Oral Health right away at (650) 250-4350!