Tooth pain is one thing most of us dread. Tooth pain can occur when we fracture a tooth by grinding, biting down too hard consistently or when we sustain an injury from a fall or contact sport. We can also experience pain when we have an abscess tooth or other dental disease incident. Whenever you feel dental pain it is a good idea to see a dentist as soon as possible. Delaying treatment usually makes the problem worse.
When should you call a dentist?
If a tooth hurts or you feel pain in the mouth or jaw region it is an emergency. Injuries that are dental in nature are usually affecting living tissues inside the tooth and require emergency efforts in order to save the tooth. If there is structural damage to the tooth (chip, fracture) your dentist can prevent it from getting worse but only if the dentist has the opportunity to do so. Usually most dental emergencies can be repaired with minimal treatment.
If you injured a tooth such as when a tooth gets chipped, broken or fractured a dentist must be seen immediately to determine what can be done to save the tooth. The dentist will usually take a dental x-ray of the affected area of your mouth. Even teeth that have been completely knocked out of the mouth can be reimplanted providing the tooth is retrieved and preserved properly.
Doing root canal therapy, tooth extraction or putting a crown on the tooth can repair cracked or fractured teeth. Symptoms a person may have with a cracked, chipped or fractured tooth are pain, sensitivity to cold, hot or air or you may retrieve remnants of broken parts of the tooth.
If the tooth has been completely knocked out of the mouth it may be able to be reattached back into the socket. Rinse the tooth with clean water only. Do not touch the tooth anywhere but by the crown of the tooth. The tooth must not be allowed to dry. The dentist will try to reattach the tooth if it is a permanent tooth because without the tooth in its proper place shifting of the remaining teeth can occur, chewing difficulties and problems with speech are all possibilities. The dentist may use other options to replace lost teeth including using bridges, dentures, or implants.
If you think you or someone else may have broken a jaw, do not move the jaw but hold it securely in place using a handkerchief, necktie or towel around the jaw from over the head and around the jaw. Cold compresses should be used to reduce the swelling and the patient should go to an emergency room immediately where a dentist will be called. You can also call your dentist to let him/her know you are on the way to the emergency room with a suspected broken jaw.
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