What Is a Dental Emergency?

August 18, 2021 Jeffrey T. Baker, DDS PC

Sometimes life happens and urgently puts you in need of dental care. If you find yourself in this type of situation, it’s important not to panic. Simply call our Shelby Charter Township, MI, emergency dentists as soon as you can and we’ll fit you into our schedule.

Here’s what you need to know when you’re faced with a dental emergency.
Emergency Dentists In Shelby Township Mi

Are There Different Kinds of Dental Emergencies?

Yes, and some dental emergencies are more urgent than others. If you’re experiencing intense pain or have bleeding in your mouth, contact our emergency dentists ASAP, even if it is outside normal business hours.

Examples of urgent dental emergencies include:

  • Dental abscess
  • Severe toothache
  • Knocked-out tooth
  • Broken/loose tooth
  • Large crack or chip in tooth
  • Damage to the soft tissues of your mouth (cheeks, gums, tongue)

There are other less time-sensitive emergencies which can wait until the next time our Shelby Township dental office opens. However, you still want to schedule an appointment sooner rather than later so the problem doesn’t worsen.

Non-urgent dental emergencies may include:

  • Dull toothache
  • Lost filling, dental crown, or bridge
  • Small chip or crack in tooth
  • Food stuck between teeth

What Should I Do if My Tooth Gets Knocked Out?

Find your tooth and pick it up by the crown (top) and be sure not to touch the root or you risk potential damage. Next, gently rinse off the tooth under lukewarm water to get rid of any dirt or debris, but don’t scrub.

If possible, place the tooth back in its socket. If that’s not going to happen, make sure the tooth is kept moist. One of the best ways to do this is to keep it in milk (whole milk works best). Do not use tap or bottled water because the root surface cells will eventually swell and burst.

If there’s no milk readily available you can put it either under your tongue, inside your cheek, or between your lower lip and gums as it will stay hydrated there. Just be sure you don’t accidentally swallow the tooth!

How Can I Stop the Bleeding in My Mouth?

Start by gently rinsing the inside of your mouth with warm water. Then you need to identify what is bleeding. If it is your tongue, gently pull it forward and apply pressure on the cut with gauze. If it is your gums or cheek, apply pressure with gauze.

Next, have someone call our office since it will be difficult to talk when holding your tongue/applying pressure in your mouth. If you’re experiencing any pain, we recommend taking acetaminophen as directed on the box’s label. Do not take aspirin or ibuprofen because these are anticoagulants and taking them will make you bleed more.

Should I Go to the Hospital for a Dental Emergency?

If you have a life-threatening condition, go to the hospital right now. Problems like a large dental abscess can limit your ability to breathe and swallow. Similarly, if you have a broken jaw, you need to visit the ER. Serious medical issues like these are best addressed by hospital staff.

You should go to the hospital for the following:

  • Dislocated or fractured jaw
  • Deep cuts to the mouth and face that won’t stop bleeding
  • Large dental abscess that makes it difficult to breathe or swallow

If you have a toothache or a small chip or crack in tooth don’t visit an ER or urgent care center. These facilities don’t hire dentists and can’t treat the underlying causes of toothaches. Our dentists can diagnose and treat the source of your dental pain thus restoring your oral health.

Schedule an Appointment

Our Shelby Township, MI, emergency dentists want to address your urgent dental issue as soon as possible to prevent complications. To request an appointment, call the dental office of Jeffrey T. Baker DDS PC at (586) 992-9222.

This blog post has been updated.

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