Mouth Problems: Medical Versus Dental Emergencies

There are many emergencies that can arise when it comes to your mouth, teeth, jaw and gums. When these emergencies arise, many people are unsure what sort of professional they should turn to; a doctor or a dentist. Here is a list of some of the most common emergencies and what sort of professional you should turn to.

A Broken Jaw:

If you were involved in a car accident, or were hit while participating in a physical sport, you may find yourself with what you think is a broken jaw. If you suspect you have a broken jaw, you will want to get it looked at and treated by a doctor. You will eventually need to follow up with a dentist to ensure the jaw is aligned as it heals, but initially, you will want to seek treatment with a doctor.

A Cracked, Loose or Broken Tooth:

If you bite down too hard or fall and knock a tooth out, you will want to seek emergency treatment with a dentist. You only have a few hours in which the tooth can be reattached, before the nerve starts to die, so it is important to act quickly. A doctor can help treat some of the pain you may be experiencing, but they do not have the tools and know how to fix and reattach the tooth.

A Cut that Won’t Stop Bleeding:

The gums scratch relatively easily. You may be using your teeth to open a nut, or chewing meat off a bone, when a jagged edge cuts your gums. When this happens, you should attempt to stop the bleeding by putting pressure on the cut. If heavy bleeding does not subside within 30 minutes, you will want to seek treatment with a doctor. They can use glue or stitches to stop the bleeding, and give you advice on preventing infections.

A Toothache:

If you have a cavity that goes untreated, your tooth may begin to ache. When the pain is bad, many people run to a doctor. Unfortunately, a doctor is not the best professional to go to. They may be able to give you pain medications which help subside the pain temporarily, but they can’t treat the cause of your pain, which is the tooth, root or nerve. If you have a toothache, you should seek treatment with a dentist.

An Abscess:

If tooth pain or a cavity is left untreated, you can develop an abscess. An abscess is an infection of the tooth, the root, the nerve or of the gums. When this happens, you may find yourself in extreme pain, your face may be swelling, and there may be pus coming from the infected site. In this instance, it does not matter if you seek treatment with a dentist or doctor first, as they will both prescribe you the antibiotics you need to rid your mouth of the infection. Once the infection is gone, and the swelling has decreased, you will need to work with a dentist to determine the cause of the problem and get it fixed, before an abscess occurs again.

Here at Rochester Dental Health Associates, we can help you with your dental emergencies. If you are unsure whether you need immediate treatment, or who you should seek treatment with, give us a call. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will help you determine how quickly and by whom you need to be seen.

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