Missing Tooth | It’s never a bad idea to arm yourself with some knowledge in case you ever face a dental emergency. Having a severe toothache, getting a tooth chipped, or experiencing bleeding gums are common types of dental problems that most of us will face at some point in our lives. If it doesn’t happen to you, it may happen to a friend, relative or colleague. Regardless of who experiences a dental problem, you’ll need to know what to do until professional help is available.
Experiencing a tooth abscess is something you’re not likely to forget, especially since it can lead to a missing tooth. This is a situation that usually involves intense pain due to an infection that reaches the dental pulp found at the heart of every tooth.
Some signs that you may have a tooth abscess include:
- Difficulty swallowing or breathing
- Pain whenever you chew or bite
- Extreme sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
- Severe toothache pain that can spread along the face, jaw, neck and ear
What To Do
If you experience any symptoms of a tooth abscess, see your dentist as soon as possible. This can prevent a missing tooth. If you have difficulty breathing, swallowing, or have facial swelling or fever, and your dentist is unavailable, immediately go to the emergency room.
You may be placed on antibiotics to resolve the infection. The abscess may be drained to relieve pressure on affected nerves. If the tooth can be restored, you may need a root canal procedure. Otherwise, the tooth may need extracting, resulting in a missing tooth.
Two of the most common reasons why you may experience bleeding gums are mouth trauma and gum disease. If you have recently experienced trauma to your teeth or mouth that is accompanied by bleeding gums, you should consider this to be a dental emergency. Contact your dentist as soon as possible so that they can examine you and make sure that you do not have a problem like a fractured tooth.
Another possible cause of bleeding gums is gingivitis. This is the early stage of gum disease. If this is the case, you will likely experience bleeding gums when you brush or floss your teeth. Make an appointment with your dentist at your earliest convenience. Gingivitis can lead to tooth loss (missing tooth).
If you should lose a tooth during some type of accident, there are some steps that you need to take before you reach your dentist to ensure that you have the best chance of saving the tooth. Take the following steps and contact your dentist for an emergency appointment:
- Grasping the tooth only by its chewing surface, place it in a container of milk if available. If it is dirty, rinse it with water first. Never scrub the tooth or handle it by its root.
- After you’ve rinsed the tooth off, you may attempt to place it back into its socket. Be sure to orient it as normal within the mouth. Gently bite down until it goes back into its socket, and see the dentist.
Although dental emergencies can be scary, most of them have good outcomes when they are handled correctly.