Dental emergencies require proper care right away. As with any emergency, it’s important to know what to do in those situations BEFORE they arise.
Knocking out a permanent tooth requires immediate attention. Pick up the tooth without touching the root. THis increases the chances of saving it. Gently wash it with water and place it back into the tooth socket facing the correct direction. Gently hold it in place as you make your way quickly and safely to Dr. Leach’s office or Emergency Room. If replanting is not an option, tuck it between the cheek and gum, or carry it in a container of cold milk.
For a more severe injury – like a tooth that’s been moved or loosened – treatment should occur within six hours. Situations that cause uncontrollable bleeding require immediate attention at the closest ER.
Fortunately, most dental injuries are not so severe. The most common of these is a chipped tooth. When you chip a tooth, try to locate any pieces that have come off the tooth. Dr. Leach and his team may be able to reattach the chipped material. Schedule an office visit as soon as possible, and bring any pieces of chipped teeth with you to the office.
Learn more about Traumatic Dental Injuries.
Acute or persistent tooth pain is always a sign to visit Dr. Leach. Tooth Decay is the most common culprit and can spread through other parts of the tooth and into the gums.
Sometimes tooth pain is a sign of infection deep within the tooth itself. This kind of infection may require a root canal, which is a procedure to remove the infection, relieve pain and save the tooth from extraction.
Loose fillings and sensitive teeth can also cause tooth pain. The best action to take for any case of tooth pain is to make an appointment at Steven Leach Dental as soon as possible.
Learn more about Tooth Pain.
Injury or infection of the mouth’s soft tissues may also be emergencies. The gums, tongue and cheek linings can be damaged in many ways (e.g accidental bites, falls, collisions, scalding liquids, etc). Sometimes a foreign body or particle can become lodged below the gum line leading to a painful (and potentially serious) abscess. A periodontal abscess is a sac of fluid caused by infection of the gum. An abscess should be treated immediately at Dr. Leach’s office. Foreign bodies lodged below the gum line can sometimes be removed (gently) with a toothpick or dental floss. If this proves too difficult, or causes more pain and discomfort, make an appointment to have Dr. Leach’s team examine the injury.
Any injury to the soft tissues of the mouth should be rinsed using diluted salt water. Any visible debris should be cleared. Bleeding can often be controlled by gentle, direct pressure to the affected area using clean, damp material. If bleeding is not under control after 10-15 minutes, head to the ER immediately.
Learn more about Gum Emergencies.
Orthodontic treatment can often be uncomfortable. This is not necessarily the sign of an emergent issue. In fact, there are few true orthodontic emergencies. These include trauma to teeth, face or mouth. Infection, swelling, or severe unmanageable pain may also be orthodontic emergencies. If these conditions arise, take immediate steps to visit Dr. Leach’s office or the emergency room. For loose, broken or irritating orthodontic hardware, call Steven Leach Dental for advice.