Man with dental emergency in Reno

Dental emergencies can occur at any time and have the potential to cause complications if not treated properly. If you experience sudden pain, swelling or bleeding in the mouth or your teeth are cracked or fall out due to an unexpected impact, you should seek professional help right away to repair the damage and prevent further issues. Your Reno dentist will be able to assess the situation and put together a plan of treatment.

What’s Considered a Dental Emergency?

Anything involving sudden, severe pain or abrupt damage to the teeth or gums is generally considered to be a dental emergency due to the immediate need for treatment. The most common dental emergency is referred to as an “avulsed” tooth, or a tooth that has been knocked out by some type of impact to the mouth. The most critical symptoms to look for with dental emergencies include:

  • Loose or knocked out teeth
  • Swelling in the gums or tongue
  • Excessive bleeding in the mouth
  • Sudden severe pain in teeth or gums

If you are unable to see your dentist immediately, there are certain things you should do to alleviate some discomfort and prevent further damage before arriving.

Loose or Knocked Out Teeth

Man with teeth knocked out

If a tooth or multiple teeth have separated from the gum line due to a hard impact to the mouth, there is a possibility your dentist will be able to save the tooth. It’s critical to not delay in these situations. The longer the tooth is out of the mouth or not properly attached, the less chance your dentist has to successfully reattach it.

It’s important to keep the area clean until you are able to get to your dentist. Rinse your mouth with warm water to clear away any food, dirt or debris that may have been introduced from the accident. If the tooth is no longer in your mouth, place it in milk to preserve it as long as possible. However, always try to keep the tooth in your mouth if it has not completely detached. Do not attempt to remove the tooth yourself.

Swelling in the Gums or Tongue

Man with gingivitis

Swelling in the mouth can be caused by a number of reasons, including food particles becoming lodged between the teeth and gums. However, there are other causes that should be assessed by a professional as soon as possible because it could be a sign of a more serious issue. Applying a cold compress should help bring down the swelling until you can see your dentist.

If the swelling is accompanied by noticeable discomfort, there’s the possibility of a cyst or infection in that area of the mouth. If these things are left untreated, it could lead to significant health developments down the road. Another cause for the swelling, although less common, is oral cancer. In any case, your dentist should be consulted if swelling in the mouth is present. It’s best to know exactly what the cause is so the proper treatment can be administered.

Excessive Bleeding in the Mouth

Excessive bleeding in mouth

If you experience an excessive amount of bleeding in your mouth for any reason, seek professional help as soon as possible. If the bleeding is not controlled quickly, you put yourself at risk for a number of immediate health issues.

When there is blood present in the mouth, it’s important to find the source of the bleeding so whatever issue you are experiencing can be properly treated. If you were just in an accident or had a fall, there’s a possibility your jaw may be broken, teeth have been knocked out, or your tongue or gums were damaged from the impact. Also, an infection or advanced gum disease could be the cause of the bleeding. Do your best to find the source and apply pressure to slow the bleeding until you can see your dentist.

Sudden Severe Pain in Teeth or Gums

Woman with toothache

When experiencing sudden pain in your gums or teeth, it’s a clear sign that something is not right. You can take over-the-counter pain medication to alleviate some of the discomfort, but your dentist should be consulted immediately to get to the root of the problem. It’s crucial to not ignore the pain, especially if it’s getting steadily worse.

Applying a cold compress can also help with the pain, but should only be applied temporarily until you are able to see your dentist. The pain can be a sign of tissue inflammation due to infection, tooth decay, or an abscess. If the infection spreads to other parts of the body, the situation can quickly escalate to dangerous levels. Consult your dentist immediately to avoid these potentially life-threatening situations.

Avoiding Dental Emergencies

Certainly, not all dental emergencies can be avoided, but there are circumstances that could potentially increase your risk of experiencing sudden dental injury. These situations include:

  • Playing contact sports such as football or boxing
  • Using your teeth to open containers or packaging
  • Biting down on very hard or chewy foods
  • Engaging in activities while physically impaired

If you find yourself in these situations, the best thing you can do is be aware of the risks and follow the recommendations on how to care for your teeth if you do experience a dental emergency. Call or visit our nearest Reno location to prevent further damage to the teeth and lessen the severity of the situation with proper and immediate treatment. Even if you have no insurance, we offer flexible payment options, making emergency dental treatment affordable and available to all.

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