Regardless of how much care you take of your teeth, accidents still occur. These unforeseen situations usually referred to as dental emergencies, require you to seek out emergency dental services in Palo Alto. They need to be handled by an emergency dentist as any delays can result in permanent damage or force you to undergo more complicated and expensive treatment procedures later on.
Signs you need dental emergency care
Below are some examples that qualify a trip to an emergency dentist in Palo Alto:
- Fracture or Broken teeth
- A painful toothache that won’t go away
- Knocked out permanent teeth
- Chronic jaw pain
- Unusual swelling
- Bleeding gums
- Tooth abscess
- Something is stuck between your teeth
If you are unsure whether what you are going through is a dental emergency, contact a dentist and ask. When it comes to dental health, it’s best to be safe than sorry.
Steps to take if you experience a dental emergency
From fractures to knockout, you have some time to manage the situation until you see the dentist. Here are general steps you can follow as you wait for treatment.
- Breathe deeply and assess the situation. If you are in a position to see your mouth or teeth, try and assess the situation without panicking. Did your tooth crack or fall out? If your tooth fell out, follow the next step.
- Store your tooth safely. Try to salvage your knocked tooth and store it somewhere safe. Don’t forget to carry it with you when going to the dentist’s office.
- Contact a dentist. Quickly search for the best emergency dentists in Palo Alto and give them a call. Set an appointment so that you can be examined and treated. During the call, explain as comprehensively as possible what transpired and what you think the issue is. The dentist will guide you on what to do next. Usually, the dentist’s instructions help you better prepare for the visit.
Going to the hospital vs. dentist for your dental emergency
Dental emergencies, like other medical emergencies, call for varying levels of care based on their seriousness. Where you go for treatment depends on the kind of dental emergency you have.
When to go to the hospital
Emergencies involving the mouth and face that call for urgent medical attention include jaw dislocations, jaw fractures, abscess, an infection that affects your swallowing or breathing, serious lacerations or cuts to the mouth, etc. These are situations where you would want to go to a hospital ER directly.
When to see a dentist
Some emergencies that are not life-threatening, per se, but still might need immediate care. If you get a permanent tooth knocked out, or break or crack your tooth, unless it is bleeding a lot, you can visit a dentist’s office.
How to avoid dental emergencies
There are several things you can do to avoid the kinds of injuries we have discussed above. Do the following to ensure your teeth remain in top shape:
Practice daily dental hygiene
Brushing and flossing frequently are crucial for oral health. Bacteria in the mouth can blend with food debris, eventually causing gum disease or tooth decay. Gum disease can potentially result in a visit to the emergency dentist.
Watch what you eat
You possibly grew up hearing that crackers, candies, starchy and sugary foods are not that good for your teeth. Soda, fruit juice, and coffee are all drinks you should drink sparingly. Sticky meals usually get stuck between your teeth and may be difficult to remove. Hard, crunchy snacks can damage your teeth, especially if you bite hard on them, resulting in a dental emergency. Thus, avoid sugary and very hard or chewy foods.
Wear a mouthguard
Mouthguards are very helpful, particularly if you play contact sports or participate in recreational activities where the possibility of dental injuries is higher.
Sealants are generally provided as preventive care for kids; however, they are great for adults as well. Dental sealants are transparent, plastic resin coatings that even out the chewing surfaces of the molars. So, why would a dentist want to use sealants to smoothen or even out your molars? Food debris usually gets stuck in the grooves of the molars and could transform into plaque left untreated.
Schedule regular dental checkups
Frequent dental checkups help you to spot problems before they develop into a dental emergency. Although some people only need dental examinations once per year, creating a bespoke plan with your Palo Alto dentist is encouraged. A dentist can make recommendations depending on your age, medical history, and health goals. For instance, people with gum disease may require more regular visits.
Never wait to see your dentist
No one wishes to make unplanned visits to the dentist; however, don’t wait to get the help you need if an emergency happens. Emergency dentists in Palo Alto are always ready to assist!
Information in this article has been gathered from multiple public health sources, including: