A dental emergency is an urgent issue with any part of your mouth (teeth, gums, soft tissues, jawbone, jaw joints, etc.) that requires immediate attention. Common dental emergencies include:
- A knocked-out tooth
- A broken tooth
- Pain due to a crack in the tooth
- Severe pain caused by an infection
- Excessive gum bleeding
Dental emergencies can happen to anyone and don’t necessarily mean that someone hasn’t been taking good care of their teeth. Therefore, if you experience a dental emergency in Cerritos, please contact us right away. You will be met with compassion, not judgment.
Here is a bit more information about common dental emergencies.
The most common reason patients contact their Cerritos dentist after office hours is due to acute dental pain. Pain can be caused by trauma, deep dental decay, an infection, gum inflammation, or objects impacted in the teeth or gums. If you have dental pain, contact us immediately. The longer you wait, the more intense pain you might experience.
A Temporary or Permanent Crown Falls Off
It might not seem like a big deal to lose a crown – especially if it’s a temporary one. Some patients go not just days but weeks or months without contacting their Cerritos dentist because they don’t think it’s a big deal, particularly if they’re not experiencing any pain or sensitivity.
However, losing a crown puts your tooth at risk of developing decay that can travel to the pulp (nerve) of the tooth more quickly because there’s no enamel to protect it. Additionally, crowns act as space maintainers. If you lose one, the adjacent teeth will start to shift, throwing off your bite and causing your crown to no longer fit. If this happens, a new crown will need to be fabricated. That’s an expense we don’t want you to have to pay, so contact our team as soon as you notice your crown is missing.
When you experience facial trauma – due to engaging in contact sports or an accident – you could lose a permanent tooth. The force of the hit you take to the face can knock the tooth right out, root and all.
Contacting your Cerritos dentist immediately can improve the chances of saving your tooth. If the tooth, as well as your gum tissue and bone, are in good shape, we can replant the tooth. Follow-up appointments will be needed to continually evaluate the health of the tooth.
If we aren’t able to reimplant the tooth, you may need a fixed bridge, partial denture, or dental implant to replace the missing tooth.
Broken or Cracked Tooth
Due to trauma, an existing crack, enamel wear, or dental decay, a tooth can fracture. While some people experience little-to-no pain when this happens, others find it extremely painful because the dentin or even the nerve is exposed.
Calling your Cerritos dentist right away can help you get relief fast!
If you have a newly cracked tooth or an existing crack that starts to display symptoms (sensitivity to hot, cold, or bite pressure), we also want to hear about it. The sooner we can see you, the sooner we can alleviate your pain and reduce your risk of further damage.
Lost or Broken Filling
With time and wear, fillings can sometimes become weak and break or even totally dislodge, particularly when you bite down on something hard or sticky.
Failing to repair or restore the filling puts your tooth at risk for further damage, including:
- The tooth breaking
- Dental decay
- Damaged pulp
One of the first symptoms of periodontal disease is inflammation of the gum tissue. However, other illnesses or injuries can result in inflammation, too, such as when an object (popcorn kernel) gets lodged in the gums).
When you contact us for an emergency visit to evaluate your gums, we will check for and remove any foreign objects. If the cause of the inflammation is gum disease, your Cerritos dentist will create a custom treatment plan to help you arrest the disease and establish good oral health.
It isn’t uncommon to bleed a bit after certain dental procedures. But bleeding when you brush or floss, or excessive, random bleeding can be an indicator that something serious is going on.
Bleeding can be a sign of:
- Periodontal disease
- Mouth ulcers
Facial swelling can be caused by trauma or infection of a tooth, the gum tissue, your jaw joint, and your jawbone. Swelling can be the result of:
- A tooth infection
- Gum infection
- TMJ disorder flare-up
- Trauma to the face/jaw
- Blocked salivary gland
- An allergic reaction to food, medications, or other substances
- Sinus infection
When you visit your Cerritos dentist, they can determine what’s causing the swelling and provide you with ways to reduce it. Depending on the causes, we may recommend:
- An ice pack
Bacteria can attack any weak tissue in the mouth – whether hard or soft – and cause an infection. These include your gums, teeth, throat, and even your salivary glands.
If you notice that you have swollen gums, a toothache, a red or white bump on your gums, or a painful lump on any of your soft tissues, you could have an infection.
Your Cerritos dentist will perform an examination and take digital x-rays to diagnose the cause of the infection. Then, they’ll prescribe antibiotics (if it’s a bacterial infection) and provide you with treatment options to clear up the infection and return you to health.