A sudden dental problem can be frightening – What should you do? Should you call? Will it get worse? Some problems are more of an emergency than others. Here's what to do if you have:
SWELLING IN THE CHEEK, NECK OR FACE
This is a serious medical problem. Infection can spread dangerously and must be treated right away. You will need antibiotics, and you probably will need to see an oral surgeon. Call our office for emergency assistance.
SWELLING IN THE GUM
This also requires prompt treatment, but it is usually less urgent unless there is also severe pain. The problem may be coming from the gum tissues or from the nerve of the tooth. You may need antibiotics and you may need to see a periodontist or endodontist. Call our office and we will decide what is needed.
This is most often caused by an infected nerve in a tooth. Root canal treatment with an endodontist is usually needed. If you have severe pain, call our office for emergency assistance.
Many kinds of problems can also cause pain, including cavities, gum infections, cracked teeth, teeth grinding, and others. Generally it is not as severe as root canal pain, and is usually not an emergency. You will need an appointment for treatment of the underlying problem. Call our office to schedule an appointment.
A PIECE OF TOOTH BROKE OFF
This is a common problem and is usually not painful and does not become painful later. This is usually not an emergency unless there is a cosmetic problem with a broken front tooth. Call our office to schedule an appointment.
A TOOTH WAS KNOCKED OUT
If an accident was severe enough to knock out a tooth, you will probably be taken to the emergency room. Otherwise, rinse the tooth with water, but do not scrub. If possible, gently insert and hold the tooth in its socket. If that isn't possible, put the tooth in a cup of milk. You will need to see an oral surgeon as quickly as possible.