When a dental emergency presents, it is important for the issue to receive prompt treatment. Delays in treatment can cause a condition to worsen, resulting in serious infections, extractions, or other significant repercussions.
People may consider dislodged and broken teeth to be the only true dental emergencies. However, that is not the case. These conditions do require immediate treatment. However, there are many other dental issues that are also considered emergencies.
The ability to identify common dental emergencies can help you maintain your oral health. Here are a few conditions that are considered dental emergencies.
Pulpitis occurs when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The pulp, which is the most interior layer of a tooth, includes the dental nerves. Thus, pulpitis is often accompanied by pain and an increase in sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.
The inflammation may be due to a deep cavity. If a cavity is the reason for the inflamed pulp, the condition, if caught early, may be treated by a filling. If, however, the cavity causing the inflammation is permitted to progress and the pulp dies, a root canal procedure or an extraction may be necessary. Thus, patients with pulpitis should receive prompt treatment.
An abscess, or a pus-filled area, may develop due to an oral infection. When an abscess presents on the gums, it is often caused by an infection in a nearby tooth. To prevent the infection from spreading to the jawbone or even to the bloodstream, the patient should be treated with antibiotics and possibly a root canal or extraction.
An abscess has an appearance similar to a pimple. Additionally, if it is lysed, the liquid leaking from it may smell foul and have a cloudy, pale yellow or white appearance. Also, the area around an abscess tends to be tender or painful.
Pericoronitis occurs when the area of the gums that surrounds a wisdom tooth is inflamed. The inflammation may be due to the trapping of particles of food within the folds of the gingival tissue around a partially erupted wisdom tooth. To alleviate the pain of the condition and reverse the inflammation, the area may need to be irrigated.
This irrigation should not be delayed since the inflammation could lead to a serious infection. If the area is already infected, antibiotics may be needed.
If you believe that you need emergency dental care, reach out to a dentist in your local area.