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emergency dental services

How to Protect Yourself From Dental Emergencies

emergency dental services

Some dental issues can wait to be dealt with until your next visit with your dentist in Gainesville; others, however, constitute emergencies that should be treated with the utmost urgency.

Dental emergencies may or may not be life-threatening, but even those that are not severe right away, may progress into life-threatening emergencies if you don’t take care of them quickly enough or properly.

Knowing how to distinguish a dental emergency from a non-urgent dental complaint can help you make sure that you keep your teeth healthy and strong and your smile beautiful for a lifetime. It can also help make sure you don’t cause greater damage to your mouth or any other part of you that may be irreversible.

Dental Emergency Signs and Symptoms

Pain, swelling, and irritation are early warning signs of many different kinds of dental emergencies, though they are not present with every dental emergency, nor are they always among the earlier signs, in some cases not presenting until the dental issue has progressed beyond the point of easy treatment.

Therefore, if you have pain, swelling, or irritation in the mouth, you should consider it a sign of a dental emergency. But, if you don’t have mouth pain, swelling, or irritation, it doesn’t necessarily mean your dental issue isn’t an emergency.

Other signs and symptoms of dental emergencies include:

● Bleeding from the soft tissues of the mouth (i.e. lips, cheeks, tongue, or gums) that you’re unable to stop in 15 minutes or less

● Dry socket caused by the blood clot that’s supposed to form over the site of a tooth extraction either not forming or getting dislodged

● Pus from a bacterial infection known as a tooth abscess

● Chipped, cracked, broken, loose, or lost teeth, crowns or fillings or other damage to the teeth

● An object stuck between your teeth

If these symptoms are accompanied by acute swelling, pain or trauma to the teeth or gums, then they’re even more dire.

Note that, while damage to the teeth and mouth may more commonly occur in children, adults can experience such dental emergencies as well.

If you experience pain or notice swelling or irritation in your mouth or notice any of the aforementioned signs of a dental emergency, contact us at Tioga Dental & Orthodontics right away for emergency dental services in Gainesville.

What to Do When a Dental Emergency Occurs

Depending on the nature of the dental emergency, the best course of action will either be to contact your emergency dentist in Gainesville or go to the emergency room.

You should visit the hospital if your dental emergency could threaten your life, such as bleeding that won’t stop, swelling that obstructs breathing or swallowing, an injury to the face or debilitating pain. The E.R. doctors and nurses can relieve the immediate problem, though they can’t perform dental work. Therefore, after you’re out of immediate danger, you need to call your dentist right away to set up an appointment to treat the underlying source of the problem that required you to go to the E.R.

If your dental emergency doesn’t pose an immediate threat to your life, health, or safety, then you can skip the emergency room and simply contact your dentist for emergency dentistry. Most dentists make room in their schedules to see patients with dental emergencies. This means you can get emergency dental services even during your dentist’s normal hours of operation.

When you call your emergency dentist, make sure to describe your problem in as much detail as possible; that way, your dentist can decide how urgently you need to be seen. This also allows you to receive guidance on how to care for your mouth prior to your appointment so your immediate symptoms find some relief and the problem doesn’t get any worse in the interim.

How to Avoid Dental Emergencies

Many, if not most, dental emergencies are avoidable, if you take the proper care and precautions.

To avoid an infection, practice good dental hygiene. That includes making regular visits to your dentist in Gainesville (usually either once or twice per year, depending on what your dentist advises given the state of your dental health) to get a checkup and have your teeth professionally cleaned. It also involves a daily oral care regimen that includes twice-daily brushing and once-daily flossing of your teeth.

For extra protection, you can also use a mouth rinse and/or a soft interdental device–not instead of brushing and flossing, but in addition to it. This way, you remove most of the food particles, mucus, bacteria, and plaque that settle on your teeth and gums each day. If you don’t remove them daily, they’ll only spread to other parts of your mouth and build up into tartar, which is much more hazardous to your dental health and much harder to remove, requiring a dentist’s intervention. Then, by seeing your dentist on a regular basis, you’ll get the rest of the harmful elements you weren’t able to get rid of yourself removed from your mouth, and your dentist can detect any signs or symptoms of a possible dental problem that needs treating before it becomes a dental emergency.

To avoid an injury to the face, take the appropriate precautions for the activities in which you engage. For example:

● Wear a seatbelt while traveling in a moving vehicle.

● Avoid using your teeth to cut, rip or tear anything other than food.

● Be cautious biting into hard foods and avoid chewing on anything that’s not food.

● When participating in athletic activity, wear the necessary protective gear, such as padding, helmet, mouthguard and/or face mask and the appropriate shoes or other footwear.

The Bottom Line on Dental Emergencies

To deal with a dental emergency properly, call our Gainesville dental office today. We’ll give you the immediate care you need along with advice for preventing similar dental problems in the future.

Don’t just ignore dental problems assuming they’ll just run their course. The longer you wait, the harder the problem can be to cure and the bigger the possibility that you could develop permanent damage or, at minimum, expensive and intensive oral procedures and surgeries.

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