Dental problems happen every day. Some of the most common issues experienced by many people are cavities, tooth decay, and tooth sensitivity. Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that over 530 million children have dental caries or tooth decay in their primary teeth. On the other hand, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research found that 92 percent of adults aged 20 to 64 had dental caries in their permanent teeth.
Aside from these issues, other cases would require emergency dental services as these are potentially life-threatening. Read on below for a more thorough explanation of these matters.
What Are Considered Dental Emergencies?
Dental emergencies refer to dental issues that need immediate action to address pain, trauma, and discomfort. These may involve continuous bleeding, lacerations to the gums, and even a fracture in the teeth or jawbone. As such, a quick response is important in these scenarios to prevent them from getting worse. Listed below are some examples of these situations.
Severe Tooth or Gum Pain
There are a lot of reasons why pain in your tooth or gums occurs. It’s a sign that something is wrong with your teeth. The pain can be unbearable and makes it difficult for some people to do essential daily tasks like eating. As such, this requires immediate attention from your dentist, especially if there is bleeding and swelling involved.
It’s normal for your gums to bleed accidentally due to excessive brushing or flossing. What is concerning is if bleeding happens randomly, even without excessive force or pressure applied. This can be an indication of a serious condition like gingivitis, periodontitis, or leukemia. Your gums will require urgent dental care to determine the underlying cause and prevent it from getting infected or creating further damage.
A dental trauma pertains to severe injury in the mouth caused by an accident or sports injury. It usually results in a fracture or displacement of the tooth, teeth, or jawbone. In severe cases, the damage is usually in the soft tissue, which can result in a fracture exposing the dentin and pulp tissue, increasing the risk for bacterial infection. This may lead to cellulitis, where swelling may affect a patient’s airway.
Broken Dental Braces
Dental braces are made of metal wires and brackets that help in correcting a patient’s teeth. The device is usually fixed on the teeth, so it’s prone to wear and tear because of its daily use. For this reason, it can become loose or broken, causing some metal wires to stick out and poke your gums. If this happens, it’s important to visit your dentist immediately as it can cause discomfort and affect the process of aligning your teeth.
Abscess refers to the painful formation of pus because of bacterial infection. It usually forms in the root of your tooth, spaces between your teeth, or the gums. If left untreated, the pain and infection can spread throughout other parts of your body, including your neck, head, and bone. It also causes symptoms like swelling, fever, and breathing or swallowing difficulties. So, to prevent it from getting to that point, it should be treated right away.
How to Prevent It
Even though these dental emergencies can occur anytime, most of these problems are preventable. There are ways to avoid getting to the point where urgent dental care is needed. Here are some of them:
Wear a Mouthguard
A mouthguard is a custom-fit dental device that covers your teeth and gums. This is an essential tool, especially for people taking part in contact sports, to reduce the risk of a mouth injury. It’s also ideal for people with bruxism because it protects your teeth from the impact of unconsciously grinding or clenching your teeth.
Be Mindful of What You Eat
Another tip to keep in mind is that you should be careful of what you eat. Some food to watch out for are candies, caramel, and taffy. These substances can pull out your fillings and cause your teeth to crack or break. Besides that, sugary and acidic food and drinks also make your teeth sensitive and prone to decay. The best thing to do is to either avoid these items or have them sparingly.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
The simplest and easiest way to prevent dental emergencies is by practicing good oral habits like regular brushing and flossing. This way, you are preventing bacteria buildup, which leads to cavities and tooth decay.
Attend Regular Dental Checkups
One way to prevent dental problems from worsening is to identify and treat them early. So, it’s essential to attend your regular dental checkups, as they involve oral examinations that will detect underlying issues. They also cover dental cleanings to eliminate plaque and other stubborn deposits, which may develop into more serious conditions if not removed.
Visit a Dental Expert
Prevention is better than cure, even for dental emergencies. But it’s also inevitable for some dental issues and accidents to occur. So if these happen, remember not to panic and go to dental offices with emergency dental services. This way, you can seek treatment right away for any pain or discomfort in your teeth and gums. More importantly, you can be sure that your needs are met only by professionals.