When you or a loved one experiences dental pain or a dental emergency it can quickly lead to a stressful situation. Knowing how much to worry and what to do in case of a dental emergency can help you keep calm and have clarity on what actions to take and when. Although a true dental emergency is rare when accidents do happen we want to be sure you receive the right treatment as soon as possible. 

When should I call my dentist?

Some patients hesitate to contact their dentist for a variety of reasons, even if they are experiencing pain. Whether they fear going to the dentist, feel that they have too busy of a schedule to make time for an appointment, or believe the pain they are experiencing will go away on its own, many people put off going to the dentist for far too long. Although all of these reasons are understandable, patients who are experiencing pain should contact their dentist right away as quick treatment is usually always ideal. 

What are the different types of dental emergencies? 

The severity of dental emergencies can range. Although the majority of dental emergencies are typically not as severe as other medical emergencies it is still in your best interest to be prepared. Keep reading to find common dental issues and tips on what they might mean or what you should do until you can see your dentist. 

A tooth has been knocked out

When an adult tooth has been knocked out of place, you’ll likely need either an implant or to reimplant the tooth that was knocked out, if possible. When picking up the tooth that’s come out, be sure to pick it up by the crown or the part you use to bite. Not touching the root helps keep the tissue intact and increases your chances of being able to salvage the tooth. If you’ve knocked out an adult tooth you should try to see your dentist within an hour. 

A tooth has been cracked, broken or chipped 

Generally, smaller chips can be fixed with a filling. If chips are larger, they could need to be fixed with a crown. When a tooth is cracked completely through, it’ll need to be replaced with an implant. If you’re not in pain, you likely have a bit more time to get to the dentist. You should still call your dentist to schedule a consultation and make sure there are no repairs necessary. 

Your face is swelling

Facial swelling can indicate an infection that usually will not get better on its own. Infections can happen within the tooth, gum or bone and cause discomfort for patients. If this is the case, call your dentist as soon as possible since early treatment is necessary. While waiting to get into the dentist, be sure to stay upright and propped up when sleeping or resting. 

You’re experiencing pain when you bite

Pain when biting can mean a variety of different things and it can be difficult to diagnose the problem without an appointment. In most cases, it’s best to call your dentist and try to make an appointment within a week. When chewing and eating, try not to bite down or use the tooth that’s causing you pain as it could worsen a potentially cracked tooth. 

There’s something stuck in between your teeth 

When pieces of food such as popcorn or small seeds get stuck in between your teeth and gums, your body sends extra blood to the area as a response. Because of this, you can experience discomfort and pain from the lodged particle. The easiest solution is to use floss and try to remove the item. Flossing can help provide instant relief and can be done after every meal as a preventative measure too. For patients who find flossing difficult, using a longer flossing stick can be useful. In addition to flossing, some individuals also find it helpful to rinse away food particles using mouthwash. 

If you’ve fallen or had an accident

Falling or injuring your mouth can have minor or serious ramifications based on the injury. One of the biggest factors in healing is receiving proper and immediate treatment, especially when you are trying to salvage a tooth. If you’ve fallen or injured your mouth, you should call your dentist to be seen right away. 

Thankfully, at Rhoades Family Dentistry, we are well equipped to handle an array of dental needs and prepared to help you get the immediate care you need. Calls to our office are monitored 24/7 by a doctor on call so we can assist you no matter what. If you need assistance due to a dental emergency, please feel free to call us at 913-782-8900. We’re glad to be an Olathe family dentist you can rely on.