A dental emergency, just like any other type of medical emergency, should not be overlooked. Proper care of the teeth in such an emergency will reduce the risk of further damage and even tooth loss, and will also reduce the risk of an infection setting in, or of developing severe pain. Because dental emergencies are so important to deal with as soon as they occur, note a few important questions you might have about such emergencies and how to care for them properly:
What if a tooth is just chipped?
You may know someone with a chipped tooth that they've had for many years and may assume that this damage is something you can live with. However, when a tooth is chipped, the underlying nerves and tissue are both exposed. This can cause severe pain, especially when eating, so that you may not eat properly, or may put pressure on the other teeth when chewing. If the tissue is exposed, this can allow bacteria and germs to settle into that area, and increase your risk of a tooth infection. In turn, you may need an eventual root canal, or may even need the tooth extracted. Don't assume that a chipped tooth is a minor issue, but see an emergency dentist instead.
Is pain in the mouth reason to see an emergency dentist?
Pain should never be overlooked, as this is the body's way of alerting you to something that's wrong. Even minor pain can mean that you should see a dentist, and especially if it's recurring; for example, if you always awaken with jaw pain, you may need a bite guard to keep from grinding your teeth at night. If you feel pain when you eat, this may mean you have cavities that need to be filled, and the tooth tissue is being aggravated by food and drinks. Whatever the cause, don't overlook pain that is persistent, and especially if it's accompanied by swelling or fever.
How do you dislodge an object from between the teeth?
If you get something stuck between your teeth, gently slide some dental floss into the space and remove it. If this doesn't work, or if there is not room for the floss, don't use pins, picks, or anything else to get the object out. You could easily jab the gums and cut the skin, which might lead to an oral infection. This can also make it more difficult for a dentist to remove the object. Instead, see an emergency dentist to have the object removed for you, safely and easily.