Many will have a dental emergency at some point in their lives, whether as a result of underlying oral health conditions or injuries. Our Toronto dentists (from our Brookfield Place Dental, Bay Adelaide Dental, King-York Dental, College Park Dental and Richmond-Adelaide Dental locations) provide advice about how to tell if your dental issue is an emergency, and what to do if it is.
What is a dental emergency?
Any problem with your gums, teeth or mouth that requires immediate dental treatment is a dental emergency. This can specifically include:
A Tooth Being Broken, Chipped, or Knocked Out
A a chipped or broken tooth is usually repairable, but will need urgent dental care. The dentist may be able to use a filling to repair a fracture or chip, while they may need to use a crown or root canal to address more serious breakage.
For teeth that have been knocked out, a dentist may be able to place the tooth back into your mouth if they are contacted and able to provide dental care promptly (within an hour or so of the occurrence). A tooth that has been knocked out has a better chance of taking root again within this time. After approximately two hours, the chances of a tooth taking root again decreases drastically, and you and your dentist may have to consider alternatives.
If you experience a toothache you cannot manage with over-the-counter pain medication, first apply ice to the area and contact your dentist as soon as possible, as this is considered a dental emergency.
Toothaches should be taken seriously, as they can indicate a number of major dental issues which require urgent care.
A lost filling is also serious as it exposes your tooth's interior, weakening its structure. It’s imperative that you see a dentist to have the filling replaced promptly. You can protect the exposed area until you get to the dentist by temporarily replacing the lost filling with a softened piece of sugarless gum.
Object Lodged Between Teeth
Objects getting lodged between the teeth can be very hazardous and warrant urgent dental care. If you cannot use dental floss to remove the object, do not use anything sharp to dislodge it yourself as this could lodge it even further between your teeth - or injure your gums.
Bitten Tongue or Lip
If experience bleeding that can’t be slowed after biting your tongue or lip, you need to visit an emergency dental clinic. In the intervening time, apply a clean cloth to the part of the mouth that’s bleeding and apply pressure. Use an ice pack to reduce swelling in the area, and seek urgent dental care.
This very painful infection is usually found at the tooth's root and is typically caused by cavities that have been left untreated, severe gum disease or even a chipped tooth.
Symptoms can include anything from a bad taste to pain, swollen glands, pus or a fever. An abscessed tooth will usually need to drain the infection and treat it properly through surgery.