What is considered a dental emergency?
A dental emergency is any dental issue that requires immediate attention from your dentist or a medical professional. This can include:
- Severe or persistent toothache that can’t be addressed with over-the-counter pain medications
- Cuts to the lip or tongue
- Knocked out, chipped or broken teeth
- Lost crowns or fillings
- Severe swelling on your face or in your mouth
Any of these can cause pain, discomfort or damage to your teeth that needs to be treated quickly by a dentist.
Can I avoid a dental emergency?
Now that we have an understanding of what a dental emergency might look like, you might be wondering if you can avoid one. While dental emergencies can happen for a wide variety of reasons and in spite of our best efforts, we can always take precautions to reduce our risk of injuring our gums, teeth or jaw.
Use your teeth for chewing food only.
Many of us use our teeth for things that they are not meant for such as opening packages, biting fingernails and doing things other than chewing food. But this is an easy way to chip or injure them, as you expose your teeth to harm along with your inner cheeks, lips and gums.
Take the extra time to find the appropriate tools such as scissors, and save your teeth for chewing food.
Wear a mouthguard when playing sports.
If you play contact sports or other physically demanding activities you could be at risk of sustaining a dental emergency.
Blows during these activities can easily result in significant injuries that lead to dental emergencies. To avoid these scenarios, always wear a custom-made mouthguard to protect your teeth and mouth against any injury.
Reduce your intake of sugary food.
We all love snacks and a late afternoon sugar hit can be very tempting. However, sugar results in plaque and bacteria buildup that leads to tooth decay, cavities, wear on our teeth and gum disease that can lead to dental emergencies. Hard candy, popcorn kernels and other foods can also present a hazard.
On your next grocery run try to stock up on crunchy vegetables such as carrots or healthy snack food alternatives such as yogurt. After a few weeks of avoiding the hard, chewy sugary foods, you’ll hardly notice their absence from your diet - and your teeth will thank you.
Maintain an excellent oral hygiene routine at home.
Part of avoiding dental emergencies involves preparation and day to day maintenance. Dental emergencies sometimes happen as a result of tooth decay or painful cavities.
Maintaining a rigorous oral hygiene routine can reduce the chances of these. Remember to brush twice daily for two minutes each time and floss at least once per day.
Visit your dentist regularly.
Along with maintaining an oral hygiene routine, regular visits to the dentist for hygiene cleanings and exams are a must. They not only clean your teeth with professional grade tools, but can also detect any issues with your teeth early on, helping you avoid dental emergencies.