Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS

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The Dental Emergency You Shouldn’t Ignore

The thing about dental emergencies is that they’re not always easy to diagnose. What’s really an emergency, and what can wait until the next day your dentist is available.

The reason for this is simple. Have you ever bitten into a piece of food the wrong way – or bitten a nail (shame on you) only to have that quick, startling realization occur that you just chipped your tooth?

If the reality that you just injured your tooth isn’t enough – after the pain goes away you’re left with the (arguably) worse reality : rubbing the chipped part with your tongue over and over and over again. Let’s just face it – you’re not going to be able to ignore it. For this reason – a chipped tooth, while often just a cosmetic problem, can seem very much like an emergency.

But what about dental problems that really are emergencies? Our emergency dentists in Garden Grove weigh in with the 3 biggies you should never ignore:

Tooth Pain

Tooth pain might not seem like an emergency at first, but if you’ve had it for a while – it means that the problem inside your tooth has had more than a while to establish residency inside your tooth. However – it doesn’t belong there and waiting to evict it will only lead to more damage to your tooth and more difficult treatment.

Pain happens because there’s a nerve involved, and if there’s a nerve involved it means that something like a crack or a cavity has worked its way deeper.

Broken Teeth

It’s probably obvious that a broken tooth is never a good thing. Unfortunately, it does require immediate emergency dental attention. This is because a fracture can break through the outer layer of your teeth (the enamel), which opens up your tooth to an entire world of bacterial damage. This can spell problems. Call your dentist asap. 

Inflammation and Swelling

Inflammation and swelling can come about accompanies by pain – or not. Either way, if you’re experiencing swelling in your jaw, gum tissue, or another part of your mouth, it’s always a sign that there’s something happening that shouldn’t be.  In many cases, it is an infection that needs to be cleared up  in order to protect your tooth. Fortunately, our dentists in Garden Grove know the best way to do that.

The Most Common Dental Emergency: The Broken Tooth

You saw the impact coming. Whether you bit into something just a little too hard or slipped on the cartoonishly placed banana peel on the kitchen floor. You braced for the impact and were surprised when it happened, but knew exactly what it was when it did. First you thought, Oh. That didn’t hurt too bad, I think I’m okay. Then the throbbing started.

But remember: you are okay. 

If you chip or break your tooth, the first and most important thing to remember is that a chipped or broken tooth is imminently treatable. Don’t panic.

Your teeth are encased by enamel, the strongest substance in your body. However, there are ways to cause your tooth to chip or break. Many times — especially when your tooth chips or cracks while eating — this can be attributed to an underlying cavity that weakened your tooth in the first place. Other times, blunt force trauma directly to the face (such as with extreme sports and contact sports) can cause your tooth to break more drastically. If you’ve ever chipped or broken a tooth, you’re well aware of the sinking feeling it can cause.

Here at Garden Grove Dental Arts, we deal with broken teeth and dental emergencies a lot. Read on to learn some of the most important do’s and don’ts when it comes to emergencies with your teeth.

  • Not every chipped or broken tooth comes with pain. To help with pain, you may take over the counter pain relievers (NSAIDS) like acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
  • Did your broken or chipped tooth happen because of a fall? Be sure to use warm water to rinse your mouth out in order to wash  away debris or dirt that could be in your mouth from the initial impact
  • To help control pain and swelling you can also hold a cold compress (or the iconic “bag of peas”) on the affected area.
  • Are you able to contact your dentist immediately? If you can, call immediately and follow your dentist’s instructions. If you can’t reach your dentist immediately, try to cover the remaining piece of tooth with dental wax — which can be found at your local pharmacy or drug store.
  • Your tooth can break, fracture, crack, and chip. There are many injuries that can occur, and they all require a specific type of treatment. It’s important to remember that your teeth cannot fix themselves like your skin can. For your particular injury, your dentist may just need to smooth a chipped edge or place a filling.

Need we remind you again? Don’t panic! Your tooth is fixable. Contact your dentist as soon as you can. He or she will probably take an xray, determine the best course of action, and get your perfect smile back in action.

Do you have a broken tooth in or around Garden Grove, CA? We’re the experts and we’re happy to help.