What are common dental emergencies?

Dental emergencies are what bring even the most reluctant person to the dentist. There are many different types of dental emergencies, but pain and broken teeth are among the most common. Certainly the most appropriate course of action is to see a dentist immediately.

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Common dental emergencies include pulpitis, abscesses, cellulitis, pericoronitis, and broken, loose or missing teeth. Inflammation or infection of the pulp, or nerve of the tooth, is called pulpitis.You may experience pain after eating hot or cold foods. Many toothaches like this are reversible and can be treated with a filling. However, some are irreversible, requiring root canal treatment or  extraction. An Abscess is a localised collection of pus caused by infection. Treatment may include gum treatment,  root canal treatment  or extraction. Cellulitis is inflammation that has spread to the surrounding tissues.Antibiotics are usually prescribed and once controlled the initial source of the infection is treated. This may involve an extraction or root canal treatment. Pericoronitis is inflammation around an erupting  wisdom teeth. It is usually treated by irrigation.  Antibiotics may be indicated if cellulitis is also present.
Common dental emergencies are:
  • gum abscesses
  • pulpal abscesses
  • swelling, bleeding
  • broken teeth
  • pain on biting -- often related to infection or cracked tooth
  • inflammation around wisdom teeth
  • trauma to tooth from accident
Emergencies may involve swelling, bleeding and severe pain from a variety of causes. It is important to have treatment from a dental professional for diagnosis and treatment of the problem. Otherwise, you may think something will resolve the problem, but unfortunately the treatment option chosen may have nothing to do with the problem.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.