A dental problem that requires someone to call on the dentist immediately is considered a dental emergency. There are many causes that necessitate a hurried visit to the dental clinic.
The most common cause of dental emergency visit is pain. Pain could be caused due to several reasons.
Pain is a physiological response which tells us that something is wrong somewhere. Toothache is a kind of pain occurring in or around a tooth. It ranges from mild to severe. When the pain is unbearable it calls for an emergency visit to your dentist or dental department in a hospital.
Sharp pain while biting on food
Pain while biting on food occurs because of tooth decay. When there is decay in one or more teeth, the biting causes the roots to compress and send pain signals. Sometimes, a filling done in a tooth comes loose and causes sharp pain while biting as it touches the exposed surface of pulp tissue of the tooth.
Mild or intense pain at back of upper jaw
The sinus area of the face shares the same nerve endings that of teeth. When the sinuses are congested due to cold or flu, the pain is felt in the upper back jaw. The pain will last as long as the cold. Your dentist will check for possible decay or receding gums, but you will need to your physician to treat your cold or flu.
Acute pain from a general area
Sometimes the pain in the tooth is difficult to locate. The pain comes from a general area like lower back jaw. The reason could be the decayed pulp tissue. The decay may cause inflammation and infection. The decay may come close to nerve ending of an adjacent tooth causing general pain in the area. Your dentist will check for the reason of the pain and locate the decaying tooth for treatment.
Acute pain from swelling of gums due to infection and abscess
When the pulp tissue of the tooth is decayed, it may cause infection and inflammation in the gums. The inflamed gums cause severe pain and need to be treated with pain killers before the root canal treatment can be done. Your dentist may decide to drain the abscess from the gums and let the infection reduce before doing root canal treatment.
Injured or knocked out tooth
Children having protruding teeth are more prone to injuries of teeth. When a tooth is injured in sports or an accident, the best thing to do is to go to a hospital immediately. The hospitals may have oral surgeons on their staff who can deal with such an emergency. If a tooth is knocked out, hold the tooth in a tissue by its crown, not its root. The surgeons will try to reinstate the tooth in its place.
Tooth out of alignment
Teeth fall out of alignment due to teeth grinding , using wrong equipment -like paper clip, toothpick paper- to remove food from teeth, using teeth as equipment –can opener, scissors, pliers, knives- and biting on objects-pen, glasses, pencil, etc. When you find that you your tooth feels out of alignment, call for an appointment with your dentist immediately.
Bleeding from the mouth
Bleeding from the mouth may mean injury to the lip, tongue or gums. When the bleeding is continuous, it could mean gums are inflamed and diseased. Seek an appointment immediately and see your dentist.
When your filling of the tooth is missing, you need to get it replaced immediately. Lost filling opens up roots and exposes dentin which invites infections.
A cracked or fractured tooth
When a tooth develops cracks or is fractured, it may mean damage to insides of the tooth. You must see the dentist immediately to save the fractured tooth. Rinse your mouth with warm water, apply a cold compress to your face where the tooth is fractured, take painkiller like acetaminophen to alleviate pain till you see your dentist. Do not apply any painkiller to your gum as it may burn the gum tissue. Your dentist will decide whether you need a root canal if your pulp tissue is affected. If pulp tissue is undamaged, than may be only crown is needed.