An Overview of the 5 Major Dental Emergencies
A dental emergency is any problem that involves teeth and their supporting tissues that should be treated as soon as possible by the relevant professional. An oral emergency may or may not involve pain, swelling, or bleeding. A dental emergency must be diagnosed and treated by or under the strict supervision of a certified dental health professional. For instance, injuries to the jaw should be attended to by maxillofacial surgeons. This ensures that the natural teeth are preserved as long as possible in their best condition.
The 5 Major Dental Emergencies
- Dental pain
Pain is an indication that there’s a problem that needs to be looked at. Severe dental pain is adental emergency.
Dental pain is categorized into two types; odontogenic pain and peri-radicular pain.
- Odontogenic pain is pain that originates in the dental pulp. Pulpal pain is a severe, spontaneous, and throbbing pain that is exacerbated by changes in temperature. The pain may be felt on the temple, ipsilateral ear, or cheek. It reduces spontaneously but should not be ignored as it leads to an acute dental abscess.
- Peri-radicular pain is severe spontaneous pain that is exacerbated when the patient bites on something. It persists for several hours and causes abscess formation, fever, facial swelling, and illness. This pain can be treated immediately by an emergency dentist in Longmont or a dentist near you. This oral condition requires immediate medical attention because inflammation is a life-threatening condition when it compromises the patient’s airway.
- Sudden severe dental emergencies
These are oral conditions that disrupt the patient significantly but have symptoms that manifest in a short time. They include:
- Bleeding–The causes of bleeding from the oral-facial region may be due to trauma, a hematological abnormality, or post-operative bleeding.
- Cellulitis – This is a bacterial infection that leads to swelling and abscesses. It develops quickly and requires urgent treatment. Its symptoms are:
- Red, tight, and shiny skin on the affected area
- Painful brawny swelling
- Difficulty in swallowing saliva
- Swelling – Swelling in the palate, gums, lips, neck, or jaw may be caused by trauma, inflammation, or infection. Post-operative swelling that needs draining is a dental emergency.
- Pericoronitis – This is an inflammation in a patient’s soft tissues that surround the crown of a tooth that has erupted partially. The patient will be in too much pain to sleep.
The symptoms are;
- Pain when swallowing
- Pus discharge
- Swelling of the pericoronal tissues
Make an appointment at Fox Creek Dental by Espire, a Longmont family dental clinic for treatment of any of these severe dental issues.
- Dental trauma
This is an injury to a patient’s teeth and the surrounding tissues, the lips, the periodontium, tongue, and cheeks. Dental trauma often involves bleeding. Dental trauma is caused by accidents, violent incidents, or sports activities. Middle facial fractures, mandibular fractures, and zygomatic fractures are examples of emergency dental trauma.
For knocked-out teeth, preserve the tooth and see a dentist within 30 minutes for a successful replant. Avoid touching the root of the tooth. Place it in a glass of milk or in your mouth between the cheek and jaw to keep it moist.
- Orthodontic emergencies
These are urgent problems that concern orthodontic appliances. Orthodontic emergencies may be due to severe pain that is caused by orthodontic appliances. It also involves their maintenance when they are loose, ingested,or broken.
Examples of orthodontic emergencies:
- An orthodontic component may be ingested accidentally. This constitutes a dental emergency when it becomes stuck on the oropharynx or esophagus. The patient may have pain and vomiting symptoms. The appliance may also obstruct the airway and cause the patient to choke.
- Orthodontic spacers may be lost and interfere with the placement of the patient’s orthodontic bands.
- Loose or fractured fixed appliances
- Protruding arch-wires in orthodontic appliances may protrude and cause irritation to the patient’s surrounding soft tissues.
- Loose/fractured removable appliances
- Implants that break or become loose. Implants may fail due to severe bone loss, de-cementation of a post, or excess occlusal forces.
- A fractured denture.
- Broken crown.
- Broken or lost filling.
Other Types of Dental Emergencies
Below are other types of oral emergencies:
- Chipped or broken tooth
- Knocked out tooth
- Tooth intrusion
Lip or jaw lacerations