Many people don’t think about their teeth other than when they’re brushing and flossing. This is completely acceptable as well. If you have healthy teeth, they only require your attention for approximately ten minutes every day. However, when you face a dental emergency your teeth become the only thing you think about, would you know what to do? An alarming amount of dental patients are unsure of how to handle a sudden chip, break, or lost tooth. Here at Artistic Touch Dentistry your Melbourne, Florida dentist wants to make sure you’re prepared no matter what happens to your teeth. Pay attention because what you do in a crisis my help save your teeth and prevent the need for invasive dental work.
What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?
Any time your teeth are in severe pain, we can call it a dental emergency. Tooth pain is unlike any other pain a person feels because it affects one of the most important tissues of our bodies. When you begin to feel pain or new sensitivity in your teeth it is imperative that you make an appointment with your Melbourne, Florida dentist. A small tooth ache or sudden sensitivity can turn into a big problem later. When our teeth become damaged by erosion due to bacteria (a cavity) or erosion due to wear and tear, our teeth are more susceptible to breaking or chipping. When our teeth crack, chip, or break, we can with all certainty call this a dental emergency. If you notice the risk signs, you may be able to prevent an emergency. If we can fill a cavity or place a crown before breakage happens, we can spare you pain and keep your smile strong and healthy. However dental emergencies are just that, emergencies, and can happen at any time. When you’re chewing on something you shouldn’t be like ice or popcorn kernels, you may crack, chip, or break your tooth without warning. Similarly when you are playing contact sports your face may experience severe trauma and a tooth or two may fall out. These are the dental emergencies you can’t plan for, but you can prepare for by knowing what to do.
Be Prepared For…
A Chipped Tooth
When your tooth chips it can be painful, but many people don’t worry about it too much – unless it changes the look of the tooth. However when you chip a tooth you are opening your dentin and in some cases the pulp of your teeth up to bacterial infection, further chipping and cracking and ultimately tooth loss. All chips should be attended to by your Melbourne, Florida dentist so that she can determine the amount of trauma and repair the chip before further damage is done. When you chip a tooth, call Artistic Touch Dentistry right away. While this is an emergency you may not need to be seen right away and an appointment will be made for you. Keep the tooth clean by properly brushing and flossing after you eat or drink until your appointment. Once you see Dr. Brazdo she will be able to assess the damage and patch the chip or place a crown whichever will yield the best results for your particular dental injury.
A Broken Tooth
A chipped tooth and a broken tooth are two wildly differently things, and you’ll know if it ever happens to you. When you chip a tooth a small portion of enamel normally is broken off; however, when you break a tooth, a large portion of the tooth including the dentin and in some cases the pulp will break off from the root. This will cause severe pain and is a true emergency. When you break a tooth, it is important to find the broken piece if you can. If the pulp is exposed do your best to not touch it. Call your dentist and make an appointment immediately. This type of appointment will be made as soon as the dentist can fit you in, infection is almost always imminent with this type of break. Make sure to keep your mouth clean by swishing warm water and do not consume anything with a substantial amount of sugar until the dentist has seen you. Dr. Brazdo may be able to save the tooth, but will often fit you for a crown and restore the tooth to its former glory.
A Lost Tooth
In the case one of your teeth is ejected from your jaw, you know you’ve got an emergency on your hands. If this should happen to you the steps you take next will determine how invasive your subsequent dental work will be. First call your Melbourne, Florida dentist and tell her what happened while you locate your tooth. Be very careful to not touch the root of the tooth and place the tooth in a cup of milk to keep it safe until you reach your dentist. If possible, Dr. Brazdo may be able to replace the tooth where it was. In other cases you may need a bridge or a dental implant to fill the void.
We hope that none of our patients experience dental trauma; however, we understand that life is unpredictable and dental emergencies happen. If you have a dental emergency we hope this blog helps you react quickly and save your tooth!