Dental Emergencies

Dental Emergencies

young girl smiling at the dental chair

Sometimes dental accidents happen, and when they do, knowing what to do can make the difference between losing and keeping a tooth. With dental emergencies, time is of the essence, and it's important to visit our office as soon as possible.

We provide emergency services for dental and endodontic traumas. Below are some of the dental emergencies that we can help treat, and what you can do while you await treatment.

CALL US: (979)297-0633

How Do I Know If I Need A Root Canal or Endodontic Treatment?

There are several symptoms which may indicate that you need root canal therapy. Some of these include:

  • Swelling and tenderness in nearby gums
  • Extended sensitivity to heat or cold, even after the heat or cold is gone
  • Discoloration of the tooth
  • A pimple on the gums that persists or reoccurs
  • Severe pain when chewing or putting pressure on the teeth

Keep in mind this is not an exhaustive list, and there are certain situations where you may not experience any of these symptoms and still need a root canal treatment.

What is Apical Surgery?

Tooth anatomy cross section

Most root canal procedures are successful, with the tooth responding favorably to the treatment and achieving a healthy recovery. However, on those rare occasions where a root canal treatment fails, it is important to treat the tooth promptly.

Apicoectomy, or apical surgery, is a procedure which removes the tip of the affected tooth’s root to save the tooth.

During the procedure, you will receive an anesthetic to maximize your comfort during treatment. Dr. Nikdel will then remove the infected tissue and remove the root tip before sealing off the root with a small filling.

How to Achieve Toothache Pain Relief

If you are experiencing severe, prolonged tooth pain, you likely need dental treatment as soon as possible. Tooth pain is a symptom of an underlying problem which you must address. It's possible that tooth decay has reached the pulp or nerve portion of your tooth.

Some of the signs that you may need dental treatment for a toothache include:

  • Acute, stabbing pain in or around a tooth
  • Red, irritated gums
  • General, vague mouth pain
  • Throbbing tooth pain that feels in sync with your pulse

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek dental care soon. If you develop a fever or chills, have difficulty swallowing or breathing, or have a foul-tasting discharge, you have a dental emergency which needs immediate treatment.

If you have a toothache and are awaiting treatment, these tips can help alleviate your discomfort until your visit:

  • Warm Salt Water – Mix 1 tbsp. of salt with a glass of warm water and rinse or gargle with it before spitting it out.
  • Cold Compress – Apply a cold compress to the cheek or face in the area of pain. Do not apply directly to the site, as this can worsen pain and slow healing.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide – Gargle and spit with a well-diluted solution (two parts water to one part hydrogen peroxide). Be very careful not to swallow the solution; if you have difficulty gargling without swallowing, warm salt water is recommended instead.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – Soak a cotton ball in the vinegar and press it gently on the tooth to help eliminate bacteria.
  • Peppermint Leaves, Extract, or Tea – Try applying a soaked Q-tip or cotton ball to the tooth to help reduce pain and swelling for a short time. You can also place a moistened tea bag in the mouth at the affected site to provide relief.

Each of these home remedies can help you to manage pain and swelling until you can reach our office for treatment. Keep in mind that these remedies are great for complementing your treatment, but should not be used in place of professional dental care.

How to Treat a Fractured Tooth

If you have a broken tooth, rinse out your mouth with warm water immediately to clean the area. Try to save any pieces that you find and bring them with you to your appointment. Apply a cold compress to your face to keep the swelling to a minimum and give us a call as soon as possible.

As you await treatment, you can take acetaminophen for the pain but should avoid using a numbing gel or painkiller because it could potentially damage your gums. Do not use aspirin, as it can reduce clotting and enable prolonged bleeding.

How to Treat an Avulsed (Knocked-Out) Tooth

Remain calm. Carefully pick up the tooth by the crown or top, being very careful not to touch the root. Rinse the tooth briefly for 10 seconds in cold water without scrubbing it and, if possible, reinsert the tooth in its socket.

If you are unable to place the tooth back in its socket, place it in a small container of milk (not water!) and get to the dentist right away to improve the chances of successfully saving the tooth. If storage in milk is not possible, you can also store the tooth in saliva. These options help keep the tooth viable. Quick action is essential for reimplantation, so contact our office as soon as you can. We will do everything we can to see you as soon as possible.

How to Treat a Tooth Abscess or Infection

Big tooth and dentist mirror

A tooth abscess or infection is a serious condition that occurs when a pocket of bacteria trapped in your tooth has led to an infection. This abscess may cause a fever, persistent toothache, sensitive lymph nodes in your neck, swelling in your face, sensitivity to heat and cold, and a bump resembling a pimple that forms on your gum near the infected tooth.

If you have this condition, you should seek help immediately, as the infection could spread to your jaw, the surrounding tissue, and on to other areas of your body if left untreated. As you await treatment, rinse your mouth out with mild salt water several times to help control the pain and bring the pus to the surface, then seek emergency dental care.

Not all dental care situations are emergencies. Some can wait until you can schedule a normal dental appointment. However, for those situations where you truly need emergency dental care, knowing the first action steps to take and having access to that care can make all the difference. If you are unsure of whether your situation is an emergency, give us a call, and we'll help you determine what kind of treatment you need.

We are here to help you address these dental emergencies and more. Contact our office to let us know if you will be coming in for emergency dental care.

CALL US: (979)297-0633