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How to Know if You are Having a Dental Emergency or Not

Many people will have a dental emergency at some point, sometimes as a result of underlying oral health conditions or injuries. Our Toronto dentists provide advice about how to know if your dental issue is an emergency, and what to do.

What is a dental emergency?

A dental emergency is any problem with your teeth, mouth, or gums that necessitates immediate dental care. This can include:

Broken, Chipped, or Knocked Out Tooth

A broken or chipped tooth can usually be repaired, but will require urgent dental care. The dentist may be able to repair the fracture or chip with a filling, whereas more serious breaks may need a crown or root canal.

A dentist may be able to replace a knocked-out tooth within an hour of the incident if the tooth can be saved. Within this time frame, the tooth has a better chance of regaining its root. The likelihood dramatically decreases after two hours, necessitating the consideration of alternative measures.

Severe Toothache

Applying ice to the affected area will help relieve a toothache that won't go away with over-the-counter pain relievers. Then, as soon as you can, call your dentist because this is a dental emergency.

Toothaches can indicate potential major dental issues, and so it is important to take them seriously.

Lost Filling

The interior of your tooth is exposed when a filling is lost, which weakens the structure of your tooth. The filling needs to be replaced as soon as possible, so make an appointment with a dentist. The filling can be temporarily replaced with a softened piece of sugarless gum to protect the area until you can see the dentist.

Object Lodged Between Teeth

Objects becoming lodged between the teeth can be dangerous and require immediate attention from your dentist. If you are unable to remove the object with floss, do not use a sharp object to remove it as this may push it further between your teeth - or injure your gums.

Bitten Tongue or Lip

If you are experiencing uncontrollable bleeding after biting your tongue or lip, you should go to an emergency dental clinic. Meanwhile, press a clean cloth against the bleeding area of the mouth. Apply an ice pack to reduce swelling, and seek emergency dental care.

Dental Abscess

A dental abscess is a collection of pus inside the teeth or gums. This excruciatingly painful condition is usually caused by a bacterial infection, which occurs within the soft pulp or root of the tooth. They may be caused by an untreated cavity, severe gum disease, or a chipped tooth.

Symptoms can include anything from a bad taste in your mouth to swollen glands, pain, pus or a fever. An abscessed tooth will usually need surgery to drain the infection and treat it properly. Treatment for dental abscesses can involve root canal surgery. 

Are you experiencing a dental emergency? Our Toronto dentists will make every effort to see you as soon as possible and can often offer same-day appointments.

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If you live or work in the Yonge-Eglinton area, book an appointment today. Our team looks forward to meeting you.

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