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What Is Considered A Dental Emergency?

Dental emergencies are unpredictable and can sometimes be the result of underlying oral health issues or injury. Our Ottawa dentists are here to help you recognize a dental emergency if it were to happen.

What Is Considered To Be A Dental Emergency?

A dental emergency can look like a lot of different things but can be defined as any problem with your teeth, mouth or gums that requires urgent dental treatment.

Specifically, this can include:

Knocked Out, Chipped or Broken Teeth

A broken or chipped tooth can usually be repaired, but will require urgent dental care. The dentist may be able to repair the fracture or chip with a filling, whereas more serious breaks may need a crown or root canal.

For teeth that have been knocked out, a dentist may be able to put the tooth back in place within approximately an hour of the incident. The tooth has a better chance of taking root again within this time frame. After the two-hour mark, the chances decrease significantly, and alternative measures will have to be considered.

Development Of A Severe Toothache

If you develop a toothache that is so severe that over-the-counter pain medications will not ease the pain, start by applying ice to the area but you will then want to contact your dentist, as this is considered to be a dental emergency.

Toothaches can indicate potential major dental issues, and so it is important to take them seriously.

Losing A Filling

A lost filling is also serious as it exposes the interior of your tooth, weakening its structure. It’s important to see a dentist to have the filling replaced as soon as possible. You can protect the area until you get to the dentist by replacing the filling temporarily with a softened piece of sugarless gum.

Object Stuck Between Your Teeth

Objects getting lodged between the teeth can present a hazard and warrant urgent attention from your dentist. If you cannot dislodge the object with floss, do not use a sharp object to attempt to remove it yourself as this could push it further between your teeth - or injure your gums.

Biting Your Tongue or Lip

If you are experiencing bleeding that can’t be quelled after biting your tongue or lip, you need to visit an emergency dental clinic. In the meantime, apply a clean cloth to the part of the mouth that’s bleeding and press down. Use an ice pack to reduce swelling, and look for urgent dental care.

A Dental Abscess

An abscess in your mouth is a buildup of pus that forms inside your tooth or gums. This is a painful condition that develops from a bacterial infection, most commonly inside the soft pulp or the tooth or the root. They can be caused by a cavity that’s been left untreated, severe gum disease or perhaps a chipped tooth.

Symptoms can include anything from a bad taste in your mouth to swollen glands, pain, pus or a fever. An abscessed tooth will usually need surgery to drain the infection and treat it properly. Treatment for dental abscesses can involve root canal surgery. 

Have you sustained a dental emergency? Contact our Ottawa dentists and we will make every effort to see you as soon as possible.

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