What is a Dental Emergency?

What are Considered Dental Emergencies in Fort McMurray?

Dental emergencies can be frightening and painful for anyone, especially children.  A dental emergency in Fort McMurray should not be ignored; any injury to the mouth, teeth, or gums can be potentially serious. Ignoring a dental injury increases the risk of permanent damage and -the need for more complex and costly treatment later on.  Teeth can become fractured by biting on hard objects or foods and trauma to the head or mouth area can cause teeth to break or soft tissue damage to the lips, tongue or gums.  Even grinding your teeth as you sleep can cause damage!  Sometimes restorative devices such as crowns and fillings can be damaged or fall out.

If you or a family member has suffered a dental injury, the first step would be to identify the injury and make sure the patient’s airway is not blocked by swelling, blood, or debris.  Gently rinse your mouth with warm water and get any bleeding stopped with direct pressure to the injury.  If the injury area is swelling, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek.  See your dentist as soon as possible.

Here’s a quick summary of what to do for some of the most common Dental Emergencies in Fort McMurray:

  • Chipped or Broken Teeth – Gently rinse your mouth using warm water, save any broken pieces of tooth you can find. Apply clean gauze with direct pressure to the area until the bleeding stops. To keep swelling down, apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth near the broken tooth, this may also help reduce pain.  Never apply pain medication pills, such as Aspirin, directly to a dental injury site.  Come see our dentists at Uptown Dental Centre as soon as possible.
  • Knocked Out Tooth – If you can find the tooth, be very careful to avoid touching the root area, rinse it with water. Do not scrub or remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, try to put the tooth gently back into place in your mouth. If it will not go, do not force it into the tooth socket, place the tooth in a small container of milk or salt water.  Seek immediate dental attention; the sooner the patient and their tooth get to the dentist the higher the chances the tooth can be saved.
  • Objects Wedged Between the Teeth – If you cannot dislodge food debris or an object stuck between your teeth, see your dentist as soon as possible. Sharp instruments should never be used to poke at objects stuck between the teeth; they can cause further damage by cutting the gums or scratching the tooth surface.
  • Losing a Filling or Crown – If a filling has cracked or fallen out you can use a piece of sugarless gum stuffed in the hole as a temporary measure to keep food and debris out. If a crown has come loose or fallen out and the exposure is causing pain, you can try applying a few drops of clove oil to the exposed tooth. Clove oil is available at most grocery and drug stores.  To protect the tooth until you can see the dentist you can try reinserting the crown over the tooth using toothpaste or a denture adhesive to hold it in place.  In either case, see your dentist as soon as possible.
  • Broken Brackets or Wires on Braces – If a bracket or wire breaks or is poking into your cheek or gums you can try using the eraser at the end of a pencil to push the sharp parts down into a more comfortable position. If that is unsuccessful, you can cover the sharp points with orthodontic wax or a cotton ball until you can get to our office. Never try cutting a broken wire because it could slip into your throat or your airway.
  • Suspected Abscess – Infections that occur in the spaces between the teeth and gums or around the root of a tooth are called abscesses. They are a serious and often painful condition that can damage surrounding tissues and teeth and can spread to other parts of the body if left untreated for any length of time.  See your dentist as soon as possible if you notice a painful or swollen bump on your gum. In the meantime, rinsing with a salt water solution several times a day can ease the pain and draw the infection up toward the surface.
  • Soft Tissue Injuries – Injuries to the tongue, cheeks, gums, and lips can result in bleeding. Gently rinse with warm water and then use a clean piece of gauze to apply direct pressure to the bleeding site, holding pressure until the bleeding stops.  A cold compress on the outside of the mouth over the injury area can help control bleeding and temporarily relieve pain.  Seek immediate medical attention at a hospital emergency room if the bleeding is severe or cannot be stopped with direct pressure.

If you are not sure if your mouth injury or pain is a dental emergency, please call us.  At Uptown Dental Centre in Fort McMurray, our friendly-and professional dental team is more than happy to take your call and answer any questions you have about dental care, urgent or otherwise. If you are having a Dental Emergency in Fort McMurray, contact Uptown Dental Centre as soon as possible at  780-791-5538.