There are many different types of dental emergencies that someone can face over their lifetime. If you are experiencing pain from your teeth, it is important to see your dentist as soon as possible. Most dental problems can be resolved more easily and for less cost when problems are addressed sooner than later. Below are the most common dental emergencies.
Toothaches are a common dental emergency. There are many things that can cause toothaches, ranging from something as simple as a cavity that needs to be filled to an infection of a tooth or the gums. If you are experiencing tooth pain, take over-the-counter pain medication, apply a cold pack to the area, and call your dentist.
Cracked or Broken Teeth
On occasion, an impact to the mouth or bad luck and circumstances can cause a tooth to crack or break completely. A cracked tooth can become a serious problem very quickly is not addressed. If you happen to crack or break a tooth, avoid chewing on the tooth and call your dentist as soon as possible.
A Tooth Falls Out
If you have a permanent tooth completely knocked out (avulsed), there is a chance the tooth can be saved with quick action. If a tooth is knocked out, rinse the tooth with cold water if it is dirty (do NOT scrub the tooth!), and if possible place the tooth back into the socket. If this is not possible, place the tooth in a glass of milk, and get to the dentist ASAP. If milk is not available, the best option is to wrap the tooth with gauze or tissue and place the wrapped tooth in your mouth, holding the tooth between your lower teeth and cheek. This will keep the tooth moist and is a much better option than placing the tooth in a glass of water. The period in which a knocked-out tooth can be replaced is extremely short, with the best chances being within the first hour. If your child happens to have a baby tooth knocked-out, there is no way it can be replaced. If your unsure whether it is a baby or permanent tooth, treat it as though is is permanent and see your dentist right away.
Losing a Filling
Fillings have a limited lifespan. If you lose a filling, contact a dentist immediately. If it is not possible to see the dentist immediately, you can purchase temporary filling material at most drug stores or grocery store; however, this is a only a short-term repair. You should avoid eating with an open cavity, as this can cause unnecessary pain and potential dental problems afterwards.
With any dental emergency, it is critical to see a dentist ASAP to avoid pain and other problems. At Hutto Premier Dentistry, we always welcome new patients and will work to see emergencies the same day if possible.
Despite the progress that has been made in the last 50 years, tooth decay, or cavities, is still a very common ailment in the United States. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease. While the formation of tooth decay involves MANY different factors, the foods we eat and our oral hygiene are the largest factors. In regards to our diets, there are foods that can cause cavities, as well as foods that can help prevent them.
Most people know that table sugar (sucrose) plays a significant role in the development of cavities. However, the bacteria that cause decay are able to process any carbohydrate eaten into acid and plaque that breakdown tooth structure and cause decay. So, while a pretzel may be a healthier option than a candy bar, the carbs in the pretzel can still lead to decay. Another concern regarding our diet is the acidity of certain foods we eat. Acidic foods, such as lemons, limes, oranges, and sodas, play a significant role in the formation of cavities by breaking down the enamel on our teeth. Avoiding sweet or acidic foods can lower the risk of cavities forming.
While there are foods that can cause cavities, there are foods that can help teeth maintain the protective enamel that prevents cavities. When you are planning your diet and nutrition, it is strongly recommended that you include foods that prevent cavities to offset any foods that cause them. There are many different foods that are good for the prevention of cavities, including calcium-rich foods, fruit, fiber-containing foods, vegetables, and whole grains. Fruit is an excellent alternative to chocolate candy bars and other sweets, but like with your regular sweets, you should make certain you clean your mouth out and brush your teeth, especially if your fruit-treat involves lemons and other extremely acidic foods.
Despite the best of intentions, it’s very difficult to completely avoid foods that lead to decay! This is why good oral hygiene and regular dental visits are important. At Hutto Premier Dentistry, Dr. McEntire and Dr. Marek recommend dental check-ups every six months. Because the average time of decay formation is six months, these regular visits will help ensure that if any cavities do begin they are caught at an early stage when fixing them is easier and less expensive. In regards to kids, or pediatric dentistry, Dr. McEntire and Dr. Marek recommend seeing kids for their first dental visit no later than 12 months old.
I earned my Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from the prestigious University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Dental School, graduating with dual Honors.