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Girl holding her mouth
Dental emergencies are not always so obvious. As a result, people will put them off, assuming they will go away on their own. But what happens when they wake up the next morning and the issue is still there? What do they do when that tooth is still aching or when that bad sensitivity isn’t going away?

So, what other symptoms should you be aware of? What should you do when they appear? What can an emergency dentist in Valparaiso do to help?

The Most Common Signs of Dental Emergencies

To start, let’s break down what the common signs are and what they mean.

  • Toothache – Toothaches are usually a sign that a cavity is present. However, it can also be a sign that gum disease is developing. In the worst-case scenario, it could be a gum abscess or impacted tooth, especially if you’re feeling pain in the back of the mouth.
  • Cracked or Broken Teeth – Teeth can easily crack due to trauma, grinding, clenching, or simply biting into food or material too hard. If you experience pain while chewing, it’s a dental emergency.
  • Severe Sensitivity – If your teeth feel sensitive after consuming hot or cold food or beverages, it may not be an emergency if the sensation disappears immediately. However, if it doesn’t go away, it could be due to tooth decay, a tooth fracture, worn tooth enamel, gum disease or recession, or even an exposed tooth root.
What to Do Immediately

If you’re experiencing chronic tooth pain, start by flossing around the tooth to confirm no food debris is applying pressure. If the pain persists, you’ll need to reduce inflammation around the tooth by taking three anti-inflammatory painkillers three times a day for no more than three days. Then, apply a cold compress to the cheek, removing and reapplying every 20 minutes to mitigate swelling until getting to the dentist.

If your tooth is cracked or broken, start by saving any pieces you can find and keeping them in a container of saline solution, saltwater, saliva or milk. If the tooth is still in your mouth, clean the area using a saltwater mixture. Then, apply clove oil to reduce discomfort and sensitivity if present. Finally, apply dental cement to the tooth to protect it from oral bacteria until you get to the dentist.

If you have severe sensitivity, avoid chewing on that side of your mouth until getting to the dentist. Use a mixture of two capfuls of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and two capfuls of warm water to rinse your mouth out.

How an Emergency Dentist Can Help

In the case of a toothache, an emergency dentist can perform X-rays, examine the tooth in question, then determine what treatment is necessary to reduce your pain. If the tooth is cracked or broken, they may recommend a filling, crown or extraction if the tooth is not salvageable. If you have extreme sensitivity, they may recommend a root canal to clear away a possible infection.

Regardless of your emergency, it is imperative that you schedule an appointment for the same day when possible!

About Smiles of Valparaiso

At our practice, you can expect a team of highly qualified dentists who take dental emergencies very seriously. The sooner you come in, the better your outcome will be. If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, don’t hesitate to contact us through our website.