Emergency dentistry refers to the treatment of dental problems that require immediate attention due to pain, bleeding, swelling, or other symptoms. Examples of common dental emergencies include toothaches, abscesses, broken or knocked-out teeth, lost fillings or crowns, and soft tissue injuries (such as cuts) in the mouth.
If you are experiencing a dental emergency, it's important to seek treatment as soon as possible. The first step is to contact your dentist to determine if you need to be seen right away. Tayani Dental Group is dedicated to providing top-notch emergency dental care to patients in Fullerton, CA. With our team of experienced and highly skilled dental professionals, Tayani Dental Group is equipped to handle all types of dental emergencies, from toothaches and broken teeth to soft tissue injuries and lost fillings. Whether you're a resident of Fullerton or just visiting the area, you can count on us to provide you with the prompt and effective dental care you need to get back to your normal routine as quickly as possible.
Signs That You Need Emergency Dental Care
You should seek prompt attention if you experience any of these characteristics or if you have any concerns about your oral health, as they could be signs that you need emergency dental care:
- Sudden and severe pain — Dental emergencies are often characterized by sudden and severe pain in the mouth or jaw.
- Swelling — Swelling of the gums, face, or jaw can be a sign of a dental emergency, particularly if it's accompanied by pain or difficulty breathing.
- Bleeding — Bleeding from the mouth or gums can be a sign of a dental emergency, particularly if it's accompanied by pain or swelling.
- Sensitivity to hot or cold — Increased sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures can be a sign of a dental emergency, particularly if it's accompanied by pain or discomfort.
- Tooth loss —Tooth loss is a clear sign of a dental emergency. If a tooth has been knocked out or has come loose, it's important to seek prompt attention to prevent further damage and to ensure the best possible outcome.
- Changes in bite — Changes in your bite or jaw movement can be a sign of a dental emergency, particularly if it's accompanied by pain or discomfort.
Common Dental Emergencies and What to Do
Toothache is a common dental emergency that can cause severe discomfort and pain. There are many possible causes of toothache, including:
- Cavities: Cavities are a common cause of toothache. They occur when the enamel of a tooth breaks down, allowing bacteria to penetrate the tooth and cause an infection.
- Infection: An infection in the tooth or gum can cause toothache. This can occur if the tooth is cracked or chipped, or if there is a deep cavity.
- Injury: An injury to the tooth, such as a blow to the mouth, can cause toothache. The tooth may be cracked or broken, and the nerves inside may be damaged.
- Gum disease: Gum disease can cause toothache if the gums become inflamed or infected.
- Sinusitis: Toothache can also be caused by sinusitis, an inflammation of the sinuses. The pain is often felt in the upper teeth and may be mistaken for a toothache.
- Bruxism: Toothache can also be caused by bruxism, the habit of grinding or clenching the teeth. This can wear down the teeth and cause pain and discomfort.
If you experience a toothache, you should seek prompt dental attention to prevent further damage and to ensure the best possible outcome. Your dentist can diagnose the cause of the problem and provide the appropriate treatment to relieve your discomfort and prevent further damage.
In the meantime, over-the-counter pain relievers can help relieve toothache. You can also apply a cold compress to the affected area to reduce swelling and numb the pain. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can also help relieve toothache and reduce swelling.
Broken or Cracked Tooth
A broken or cracked tooth is a common dental emergency that occurs when a tooth becomes damaged or fractures. This can happen for several reasons, including trauma to the mouth, grinding or clenching the teeth, biting down on hard objects, or aging and tooth decay. Our everyday activities like sports and using teeth for purposes other than eating can also lead to a broken, chipped, or cracked tooth.
When a tooth is broken or cracked, the outer layer of the tooth (the enamel) may be chipped or fractured. This can expose the inner layer of the tooth (the dentin), which is more sensitive and can cause discomfort or pain.
The severity of a broken or cracked tooth can vary, from a small chip in the enamel to a large fracture that affects the entire tooth. In some cases, a broken or cracked tooth may not cause any symptoms, while in other cases, it may cause severe pain, sensitivity, or discomfort.
Here is what to do before visiting an emergency dental clinic:
- Rinse your mouth: Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the affected area.
- Reduce swelling: Apply a cold compress to the outside of your cheek or lips to reduce swelling.
- Ease pain: Over-the-counter pain relievers can help relieve discomfort.
- Save the pieces: If you have broken off a large piece of your tooth, try to save it if possible and bring it with you to the dentist.
- Protect the tooth: If the broken or fractured tooth is sharp or jagged, you can place orthodontic wax or sugarless chewing gum over it to protect your cheek or tongue.
Losing an Orthodontic Appliance
Orthodontic appliances (braces, aligners, retainers, etc.) are typically used in conjunction with regular orthodontic appointments and adjustments to ensure the best possible outcome. They can also require special care and maintenance, including brushing, flossing, and regular check-ups, to ensure they are working properly and to maintain good oral hygiene.
Losing an orthodontic appliance can be a dental emergency, especially if it is causing discomfort or interfering with your ability to eat or speak. In these cases, it's important to seek prompt dental attention to have the appliance repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
If the appliance has become loose or broken, it may need to be removed to prevent further damage to the teeth or gums. In some cases, the orthodontic treatment may need to be temporarily suspended until the appliance can be repaired or replaced.
However, not all lost orthodontic appliances are emergencies. If the appliance is lost or broken but not causing discomfort, you can typically wait until your next orthodontic appointment to have it repaired or replaced. Your dentist can advise you on the best course of action based on your individual situation.
In general, it's important to take good care of your orthodontic appliances and to seek prompt dental attention if you have any concerns or problems with them. Ignoring a problem with an appliance can lead to further damage to the teeth or gums and may affect the outcome of your orthodontic treatment.
Loose or Knocked Out Tooth
Mouth trauma such as a sudden impact can cause your tooth to be loose or knocked out. This always calls for an emergency dental visit. You should try to keep the loose tooth in its socket and bring the knocked-out tooth to the dental clinic.
Here is what to do:
- If you are experiencing pain, you can take over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. You can also apply a cold compress to the outside of your cheek.
- If the tooth has been knocked out, try to find it and rinse it off gently with water. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue. If possible, place the tooth back in its socket and hold it in place with a clean cloth. If you can't put the tooth back in its socket, put it in a cup of milk or a container of saliva to keep it moist.
- Continue to brush and floss your teeth as you normally would. This will help reduce the risk of infection and keep your mouth clean.
- Contact your dentist as soon as possible to schedule an emergency appointment. If the tooth is a permanent tooth, there is a chance it can be re-implanted if you see a dentist within 1-2 hours of the injury.
An abscess is a painful infection that can occur in the mouth, and it's a serious dental emergency. Some common symptoms of an abscess include pain in the surrounding area, swelling, fever if the infection spreads to other parts of the body, bad breath, or a bad taste in the mouth.
If you suspect you have an abscess, it's important to seek prompt dental attention to prevent further damage and to ensure the best possible outcome. Your dentist can diagnose the cause of the problem and provide the appropriate treatment to relieve your discomfort and prevent further damage.
Over-the-counter pain relievers can help relieve discomfort. You can also rinse your mouth with warm salt water to reduce swelling and soothe the affected area.
You should not ignore the symptoms of an abscess, as it can cause serious complications if left untreated. The infection can spread to other parts of the body, including the brain, and can cause permanent damage to the teeth, gums, and jaw.
Bleeding After a Tooth Extraction
Bleeding after a tooth extraction is a common occurrence and can last for several hours after the procedure. You should control the bleeding to prevent the formation of a blood clot and to speed up the healing process. Here are some steps you can take to manage bleeding if it persists:
- Avoid rinsing your mouth for 24 hours: Rinsing your mouth too soon after tooth extraction can dislodge the blood clot and delay healing.
- Apply pressure to the site: If bleeding continues after 30 minutes, apply pressure to the site with a clean cloth or gauze pad.
- Avoid smoking and straws: Smoking and using straws can create suction in your mouth and dislodge the blood clot, leading to further bleeding.
- Take over-the-counter pain medication.
- Contact your dentist: If you experience heavy bleeding, severe pain, or persistent swelling after a tooth extraction, contact your dentist immediately.
Here are The General Steps To Take If You Can’t Find an Emergency Dentist Right Away
While it's always best to see a dentist as soon as possible, there are several steps you can take to manage the pain before your appointment. These steps can help prevent further damage:
- Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the affected area and remove any food particles that may be causing discomfort.
- Use over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help relieve the pain. Be sure to follow the recommended dosage on the label.
- Apply a cold compress to the outside of your cheek or jaw to help reduce swelling and numb the area, providing temporary relief from the pain.
- Avoid hot or cold foods and drinks as they can exacerbate the pain. Stick to soft, bland foods such as oatmeal or soup.
- Avoid hard or crunchy foods. Chewing hard or crunchy foods can put pressure on the affected tooth and make the pain worse.
- Try clove oil. Clove oil has natural pain-relieving properties and can be applied directly to the affected tooth or gum.
- Avoid chewing on the affected side. Chewing on the affected side of your mouth can put pressure on the affected tooth and make the pain worse.
Remember that these measures are only temporary and do not replace the need for prompt dental treatment. If the pain is severe or accompanied by swelling, fever, or difficulty breathing, seek emergency medical attention immediately. Tayani Dental Group has emergency dentists available 24/7, so you can always call anytime.
Issues That Does Not Require Emergency Dental Care
Not all dental problems are considered dental emergencies, and some can be treated during routine dental appointments. Here are some dental issues that do not typically require emergency dental care:
- Mild tooth sensitivity: Mild tooth sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods is a common issue and can often be treated with over-the-counter toothpaste or gels.
- Minor tooth decay: Small cavities can often be treated during routine dental appointments and do not typically require emergency treatment.
- Broken dental filling: If a filling falls out or cracks, but the tooth does not cause pain, it can typically be treated during a routine dental appointment.
- Loose orthodontic brackets or bands: Loose orthodontic appliances can often be tightened or replaced during routine orthodontic appointments.
- Chipped or broken dental crown: If the dental crown chips or breaks, but the underlying tooth does not cause pain, it can typically be treated during a routine dental appointment.
- Mild gum pain or swelling: Mild gum pain or swelling can often be treated with proper oral hygiene practices and can be evaluated during a routine dental appointment.
You should consult your dentist if you experience any dental problems, even if they are not considered emergencies, to ensure proper treatment and prevent further complications. If you are unsure whether your dental issue requires emergency treatment, it's best to contact your dentist for further evaluation and advice.
Choosing the Right Emergency Dentist
Choosing the right emergency dentist can be a challenging task, especially when you are in pain or under stress. Here are some factors to consider when choosing an emergency dentist:
- Availability: Look for a dentist who is available 24/7 or has extended office hours to accommodate emergency dental needs.
- Location: Choose a dentist that is conveniently located near your home or work to reduce travel time in the event of a dental emergency.
- Experience: Look for a dentist who has experience in treating emergency dental conditions, such as toothaches, broken or chipped teeth, and abscesses.
- Reputation: Check online reviews, ratings, and referrals from friends and family to gauge the quality of care provided by the emergency dentist.
- Insurance coverage: Find out if the emergency dentist accepts your insurance and what services are covered under your policy.
- Technology and equipment: Look for a dentist who uses the latest technology and equipment, such as digital X-rays, to diagnose and treat emergency dental conditions.
- Comfort and professionalism: Choose a dentist who is professional, friendly, and takes the time to explain the treatment process and answer any questions you may have.
It's important to have an emergency dentist in mind before a dental emergency occurs, so you can receive prompt and appropriate treatment when you need it the most. You can also check with your regular dentist to see if they provide emergency dental services or if they can recommend a trusted emergency dentist in your area.
Find a Fullerton Emergency Dentist Near Me
Dental emergencies can be painful and disruptive, but prompt treatment is essential for minimizing damage and preventing further complications. Whether you are experiencing a toothache, broken or cracked tooth, or lost filling or crown, it's important to seek treatment as soon as possible. If you live in the Fullerton area, the Tayani Dental Group is a trusted emergency dental clinic that can provide you with the care you need. With a team of experienced dentists and state-of-the-art facilities, we are dedicated to providing the highest quality dental care to patients in need. If you need emergency dental care, don't hesitate to contact us at 949-741-0795.