Dental emergencies include any issue that requires urgent or immediate attention in order to relieve symptoms and prevent additional damage. Some of the most common dental emergencies include:
Just about any oral health issue outside of routine cleanings, cosmetic work or planned dental work may require urgent care. Calling the office is the best way to know if care is needed.
If a healthy adult tooth is knocked out, it may be able to be replanted as long as immediate care is sought. Place the tooth back in the socket if possible or hold it between the cheek and gum. Otherwise, place it in a glass of milk or water. Be sure not to touch the tooth root in order to avoid damaging it, and call the office immediately or head to the nearest emergency room. Baby teeth typically are not replanted, but a spacer may be placed in the area where the missing tooth was located in order to “save space” until the adult tooth emerges.
The first step to preventing dental emergencies is to practice good oral hygiene. Teeth and gums that are strong and healthy are less likely to become injured, and if damage does occur, it’s more likely to be less severe. Brushing, flossing and seeing the dentist regularly are important for maintaining optimal health and preventing serious damage. It’s also important to wear a mouthguard when playing sports, to avoid chewing on hard candy or ice, and to avoid using teeth as prying tools.
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