- A sudden, urgent, usually unexpected occurrence or occasion requiring immediate action.
- A state, especially of need for help or relief, created by some unexpected event
According to Dictionary.com, the word emergency can be defined as one of two ways.
Talk to any dentist about what a dental emergency is however, and you’re likely to get a whole host of different explanations.
That’s because in the dental world, there’s actually no universally-agreed upon definition of what exactly constitutes a dental emergency. Do we use the term to describe a sudden pain or does it have to be severe to count as an emergency?
At Dental Care Group, our philosophy is if it hurts, it’s an emergency! The way we see it, your teeth and gums should never be causing you pain under any circumstances… so when they do, it’s time to talk to an emergency dentist.
Today, we’ll be going over some of the common dental emergencies that we treat, as well as how your local dentist can help relieve your pain.
Without a doubt, the most common reason people ring our emergency hotline is when they start suffering from a sudden or unexpected tooth pain.
Toothaches can be anything from a sharp pain to a dull ache around a tooth.
A toothache can arise from a whole host of different causes – perhaps
While your teeth are made of sturdy stuff, the nerves that make up the pulp inside can be extremely sensitive. When the hard enamel exterior of your teeth is damaged, it can set off the sensitive nerves inside.
The result: a nasty toothache!
Much like physical damage, the exterior of a tooth can be damaged by severe tooth decay.
When bacteria in your mouth isn’t regularly cleaned out, it can start eating away at the hard enamel exterior of your teeth, exposing the sensitive pulp inside – that’s why we dentists put such a huge emphasis on a consistent dental hygiene routine!
Broken and damaged teeth
Like we said before, broken or damaged teeth are a common cause of tooth pain.
Moreover, damaged or broken teeth are magnets for infection and tooth decay. Extensive cracks and breaks can lead to infection in the pulp tissue and can even spread to the surrounding gums if not treated quickly!
This isn’t even getting started on the potential effects of an untreated infection.
Not only is letting infection spread painful… it can also be potentially debilitating. Mayo Clinic warns that if you suffer from a fever and severe swelling inside your mouth, or worse, have trouble breathing, the infection may have spread deep into your jaw. In the worst cases, a trip to the emergency room might be in order.
Fortunately, broken and damaged teeth rarely reach that level of severity!
However, whenever you damage a tooth (through trauma or otherwise), you run the risk of it turning into a nasty infection later on – so don’t let it reach that stage. The moment your wisdom teeth start causing you trouble, talk to a local dentist like Dental Care Group to discover and discuss your options.
Wisdom tooth pain
Getting your wisdom teeth removed is almost like a rite of passage for many young adults, up there with getting their license and graduating from high school.
But have you ever wondered about why your dentist will usually recommend getting your wisdom teeth removed?
There’s a finite amount of space in your jaw for teeth to grow in. Up until around the age of 20, this isn’t a problem – there’s plenty of room for teeth to grow out, for the most part.
But then your wisdom teeth erupt.
In many cases, there just isn’t enough space for them to fit into your jaw. But that doesn’t stop your wisdom teeth – if they can’t grow normally, they’ll just find another way to the surface. And if that means growing against your existing teeth, so be it.
In many cases, wisdom teeth end up pressing against existing teeth as they grow out – this is known as an impacted wisdom tooth.
Needless to say, this can be the cause of some nasty pain as your new wisdom teeth push your existing teeth and forces them together. In the worst-case scenario, this can severely weaken the impacted teeth and increase your odds of tooth loss. If this happens, the only course of action is to get your wisdom teeth removed completely.
Inflamed and bleeding gums
Have you ever finished brushing your teeth and were shocked to find some blood in the sink?
While many people give a lot of attention to their teeth (and rightly so), fewer pay as much attention to the health of their gums.
Make no mistake however, your gums are essential for maintaining good oral health. Gum diseases such as gingivitis (and its more advanced form periodontitis) occur when you allow plaque to build up around your gums, causing irritation, bleeding and swelling. Ignore it, and you can damage the soft tissue that makes up your gums, causing significant pain.
If left for long enough, they also weaken the bonds between your gums and teeth, significantly increasing your risk of tooth loss.
Fortunately, dental hygienists can stop periodontitis in its tracks by professionally cleaning out the pockets around teeth. They can also prevent recurrence by prescribing effective dental hygiene routines.
In the meantime, however, it wouldn’t hurt to see an emergency dentist to get your gums checked out!
Do you need an emergency dentist in Armadale?
When it comes to your oral health, there’s no such thing as an overreaction. If you suspect you’re suffering from any of these common dental emergencies, get in touch with your local dentist.
If you live in Armadale or Malvern, get in touch with Dental Care Group. Call us before midday and we guarantee you’ll have a booking with our principal dentist, Dr Zelman Lew before close of business.
Our lines are manned even after hours. Call or email us at any hour and we’ll get back to you with professional advice and information.
If you’re suffering from a dental emergency, don’t put off treatment – make a booking with us today for immediate relief!