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Emergency Mouth Injury: When to Call a Dentist

Emergency Mouth Injury: When to Call a Dentist

Did you know that around 2.5% of emergency room visits are due to dental emergencies? We risk the chance of damaging our teeth every day. From cavities to injuries, it’s essential to know when it’s time to contact your dentist.

You never want a mouth injury. Failing to address it efficiently can have long-term effects on your smile.

This guide will discuss common mouth injuries and when to contact an emergency dentist.

What’s a Mouth Injury?

Mouth injuries are painful and can happen to anyone at any time. They tend to appear worse than they are. Minor mouth injuries can heal without medical intervention.

You should head to the emergency room or call 911 immediately for serious injuries. If you’re uncertain about the severity of your injured mouth, you can contact your dentist to get advice.

Any damage that affects your mouth cavity and the surrounding area is a mouth injury. The affected area can include:

  • Inner cheek
  • Lips
  • Tongue
  • Throat and tonsils
  • Teeth
  • Roof and floor of the mouth
  • Jaw

Some mouth injuries can get sustained while eating. Contact sports or falls can also cause tooth injury.

Common examples of injuries include:

  • Falling with an object in your mouth
  • Broken, lost, or cracked tooth
  • Contact trauma

You might experience pain, bleeding, toothache, and swelling with any of these injuries.

When to Notify Your Dentist

Not every mouth injury is considered a dental emergency. You should think about the following when considering whether or not to call a Lexington Dentist:

  • Did you lose a tooth?
  • Are you suffering from an infection?
  • Is your pain level severe?
  • Are your teeth loose?
  • Are you bleeding?

Any injury that requires intervention to stop bleeding, save a tooth, or eliminate severe pain is considered a dental emergency. Infections can also be life-threatening if not treated promptly.

What Isn’t a Dental Emergency?

With most mouth injuries, you can wait to see your dentist in the next couple of days. For example, a broken tooth is a dental emergency if your tooth has sharp fragments harming your mouth tissue. If a chipped tooth isn’t causing you any pain, you can wait to visit your dentist.

You can also wait to get treatment for a toothache if you don’t have severe pain or an abscess. If you have a high fever, swelling, or gumps on your gums, you should contact your dentist.

If you’ve lost a crown or a filling, you can wait to see your dentist. You can try putting your crown back in place with denture adhesive or dental cement.

Things to Avoid During a Mouth Injury

While you can wait to contact your dentist if it’s a holiday or weekend, you shouldn’t try to care for a significant dental problem on your own. Certain things you might do could cause the injury to be worse.

Don’t pick up a knocked-out tooth by its root. Pick it up by the crown of the tooth and rinse it off. Try to place the tooth back into its socket if you can.

If you’re unable to put the tooth back in its socket, wrap it in gauze. Soak the tooth in milk, so it doesn’t dry out. Contact your dentist immediately.

Ways to Cope With Mouth Injury Pain

There are a few ways to manage any pain you might be experiencing from your mouth injury. Some things you can try include:

  • Rinse with an antibacterial rinse or saltwater to avoid infection
  • Take pain medications, like Tylenol or Advil
  • Place a cold compression on the affected side of your face

How to Prevent Mouth Injuries

Wearing protective gear is one of the best ways to avoid mouth injuries, especially if you play contact sports. Custom-fit mouthguards can prevent mouth injuries with maximum comfort and minimal distraction. Your dentist can work with you to create a custom mouthguard that fits seamlessly into your mouth.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Emergencies

Mouth injuries can be an incredibly scary event. Let’s talk about some of the most frequently asked questions on the topic.

What if I Can’t Get Ahold of My Dentist?

The following steps if you can’t get ahold of your dentist depend upon the severity of your injury. If you’re out of town and have a minor injury, you might choose to wait until you get home to see your dentist. If your tooth got knocked out, you might want to get ahold of the nearest emergency dentist to avoid long-term issues.

What if an Object Gets Trapped in Between My Teeth?

If you get a small object or food item stuck between your teeth, you can attempt to remove it with dental floss. Don’t use anything sharp to remove the item. Doing so might result in additional damage to your teeth and gums.

If you cannot remove it with dental floss, you should contact your dentist.

What Treatment Will I Receive?

How your injury gets treated depends upon the injury itself. If you’ve chipped your tooth, your dentist can repair it by putting a filling on the tooth.

The pulp of your tooth might be damaged or exposed. In that scenario, you might need a root canal.

Sometimes, your tooth might get pushed into or out of its socket during a mouth injury. Your dentist will reposition and then stabilize your tooth.

You need to see your dentist immediately for those who have knocked out a tooth. Once you get to their office, they’ll evaluate the tooth and place it back into its socket.

Contact Your Dentist for Advice for Your Mouth Injury

Despite your best efforts, sometimes you can’t avoid a mouth injury. It’s important to stay calm during an injury and contact your dentist immediately, depending upon the severity of your injury.

Did you find this article helpful? Explore our blog to find out more information on health and lifestyle topics.

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