What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?

Dental injuries are more common than you think and can happen to anyone. A damaging blow to the face or teeth can occur during auto accidents, falls, or sports injuries, but teeth can also chip, break, or come loose during regular daily activities. Teeth are strong, but life happens! Dr. Zachary Sisler is available for emergency appointments in Shippensburg, PA, but in the meantime, learn about the most common dental emergencies and what to do.

How Can Teeth Get Hurt?

There are several ways teeth can potentially get injured, and some are more serious than others. Of course, trauma to the face can result in a dental injury, such as a blow to the face in an auto accident or playing sports. These injuries usually need to be treated in a hospital.

Significant trauma isn’t the only way to lose teeth, though. Teeth fractures can occur from cavities or even chewing or biting on hard objects such as pencils, pens, nuts, hard candies, or ice cubes. Most of the injuries that are not associated with head or neck trauma can be treated in a dentist’s office instead of a hospital.

What to Do in a Dental Emergency

Dental injuries are common, so don’t panic if you’re experiencing a dental problem that needs attention. Call your dentist as soon as possible if you think you need immediate attention, or if the injury is severe, go to the nearest emergency room.

  • Swelling of the gums and oral tissue can occur with dental injuries. Applying ice or a cold pack on the cheeks or lips or even inside the mouth can help reduce swelling and pain before you get to the dentist.
  • If a permanent tooth has been knocked out, keep the displaced tooth moist at all times. Try to replace the tooth back into the socket without touching the root, or place the tooth in milk or a tooth-preserving product approved by the ADA. See a dentist as soon as possible.
  • For cracked teeth, rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling.
  • If you have bitten your tongue or lip during the injury, gently clean the area with water and apply a cold compress.
  • For toothaches, flush the area with warm water and use dental floss to remove any food caught between the teeth. Do not apply aspirin to the gum or the tooth itself.

Avoiding Dental Injuries

  • Never try to open things with your teeth.
  • Avoid hard foods that can crack your teeth such as hard candy and ice, and never chew on non-food items like pen caps or pencils.
  • Always wear a protective mouth guard when playing sports.

Dental Emergency in Shippensburg, PA

Most dentists keep openings in their schedule for dental emergencies, and Dr. Sisler is available in Shippensburg, PA for dental emergencies. For more information on dental first aid or to schedule a visit with Dr. Sisler, schedule online or call (717) 271-7052.