Dental pain can feel alarming whether it comes on suddenly or gradually builds to a point at which it can no longer be tolerated. Sometimes, dental pain and other symptoms indicate a dental emergency. It is important to know when you should contact your dentist for a same-day appointment, and also when you may need to contact the office outside of normal business hours.
If you suspect that you need prompt dental care, call (931) 647-3960 or (931) 552-7745 to reach our Clarksville offices. Additional office locations and phone numbers can be found on our Contact page.
What is Considered a Dental Emergency?
Several different situations may require emergency dental care. If you're unsure where your problem lies, contact a Schmitt Dental office near you right away. Our experienced staff can help you determine the best way to address your dental needs as quickly as necessary. Some examples of common dental emergencies include:
- A knocked-out tooth
- A dislodged tooth
- Severely broken tooth
- Dental abscess
- Severe tooth or mouth pain
- Significant laceration to the soft tissue in the mouth
You also need to schedule a prompt appointment, but not necessarily a same-day appointment, if you experience one of the following:
- A minor chip or fracture in a tooth
- Dull but persistent tooth pain
- A lost filling, crown, or bridge
Is a Sensitive Tooth Considered a Dental Emergency?
You may need to see the dentist right away for tooth sensitivity. It may be best to contact the office for specific guidance. In most situations, sensitivity is the result of wear and tear that has caused enamel erosion. However, this dull pain when eating warm or cold foods and beverages could also occur as a result of an infection in a tooth or the gums, a worn filling, a cavity, exposed teeth roots, or a fracture in a tooth. Because sensitivity can be caused by such a variety of conditions, it's important to contact your dentist sooner rather than later.
What is the Best Way to Deal with Noticeable Swelling?
Some dental conditions can cause noticeable swelling in the gums around one or more teeth. Swelling inflammation or infection. If minor puffiness in the gums seems to be related to poor oral hygiene and gingivitis, the inflammation may be mitigated by brushing gently twice a day. You must also floss daily to help resolve the inflammation. You might also rinse your mouth with warm salt water a few times each day, taking care to swish water around both your back teeth and your front teeth. You may also rinse with a mixture of tea tree oil and warm water.
How Soon Should I See a Dentist for a Dental Emergency?
If you experience sudden or worsening symptoms, your best bet is to call one of our offices right away. During office hours, our staff can advise you regarding the best time to come in. If you experience a more significant injury to a tooth or your mouth, such as facial trauma that results in bleeding from the mouth or a suspected broken jaw, contact the office any time of day (or go to the nearest emergency room). Ongoing sensitivity or pain in the mouth indicates a problem. The sooner you receive proper care for your symptoms, the sooner your comfort and peace of mind can be restored.
I Have a Broken or Chipped Tooth. What Do I Do?
Chips or breaks in teeth can be painful. These injuries also make the tooth more susceptible to further damage, including infection. If you've experienced this type of injury, brush your teeth and floss around the affected tooth. This helps remove debris that could cause unnecessary irritation. Then, contact us. We can advise you regarding when you should be seen and what you can do in the meantime once we discuss the nature and severity of your chip or fracture. Warm salt water rinses can help soothe discomfort. Your dentist may also advise you to purchase some dental wax from a local pharmacy or drugstore to place over the tooth if there are jagged or sharp edges.
I Have a Bad Jaw Injury, Should I Go to a Dentist or ER?
If you even suspect that your jaw has been broken, you should secure it using a soft material, such as an elastic wrap that you might use for a sprained ankle. With the jaw secured, you can then head to the nearest emergency room for a thorough examination and imaging, if necessary. Depending on the severity of the fracture, the doctor may simply prescribe painkillers to manage discomfort as the jawbone heals or they may refer you to your dentist. The issue that your dentist is concerned with is the alignment of your jaw and teeth. In some instances, it may be necessary to secure the jaw in a set position while the bone heals.