Are My Wisdom Teeth An Emergency?


One of the biggest emergency issues that can arise in terms of oral health involves your wisdom teeth. While people generally think that dental emergencies usually involve either teeth that have fallen out or severe pain in other teeth, it’s not entirely uncommon for wisdom teeth to develop issues that will require seeking immediate attention from a dentist.

But how can you be sure that an issue with your wisdom teeth is actually an emergency?

If you are experiencing any kind of pain in the area of your wisdom teeth, no matter how significant or insignificant that the pain may be, the most important thing you can do is immediately inform your dentist as to what you’re experiencing. This is especially important if you are scheduled for either a routine examination or other dental procedure. They will be able to do a thorough and comprehensive examination of the affected areas and determine what, if anything, needs to be done in order to completely eliminate the pain.


Here are some issues in which an issue involving your wisdom teeth may be considered an emergency situation that you should seek immediate assistance for.



Perhaps the most common cause of issues involving wisdom teeth are infections in that area. Infections can be caused by a number of issues, which can include the following:


*Inflammation of the gum line around the tooth

*Pain and/or swelling

*Difficulty opening your mouth and swallowing

*Developing a fever



In some serious cases, extractions of the wisdom teeth may be needed in order to completely eliminate any major issues involving infection if there is no other recourse that can be otherwise taken. Even so, complications can develop after the extractions take place. For instance, blood clots that normally form in the areas where the wisdom teeth previously were can dislodge themselves, which can cause even more bleeding. This can cause the affected areas to not heal properly, even if you are following all post-surgical care instructions explicitly; however, only a small percentage of dental patients experience this.



When wisdom teeth are referred to as “impacted,” this means that they grow in the back of the mouth and generally do not have sufficient room to grow normally. This is something else that can cause some major pain as well as other issues, including damage to your other teeth. They are also prone to becoming infected by tooth decay or gum disease due largely in part to the fact that they are generally harder to clean. If you have an impacted wisdom tooth and are experiencing pain as a result, the best option is to have it extracted as soon as possible.


The bottom line is this: if you are experiencing any major issues with your wisdom teeth, it’s likely because you let the issue go for too long before finally deciding to seek help. The best way to avoid something like this is to seek immediate attention from your dentist, as previously mentioned. Have your wisdom teeth (and all other teeth as well) examined, cleaned, and treated annually to prevent these and any other potential issues from emerging.



Misconceptions about Emergency Dental Situations

Have you ever wondered if you should call your dentist because you think you are suffering from a “dental emergency“? While these types of emergencies are not life threatening to you; they can be to your tooth. Saving as many of your natural teeth as possible is important to your dental structure, and to keep your mouth in good health. The following situations would be considered “dental emergencies” and it is recommended you call your dentist as soon as possible if you suffer any of the symptoms:

* Partially Knocked Out Tooth

You need to see your dentist immediately if you have partially knocked out one of your teeth. Your tooth has a good chance of being saved and the faster you get to your dentist; the better chance of saving it will be.

* Knocked Out Tooth

You should see an emergency dentist if any of your teeth have been knocked out. Dental replacements are done for over five million adults and children each year that had one of their teeth knocked out; so while it is common, it is still an emergency situation. Take the tooth and rinse it with cold water by holding onto to the root. Do not scrub it or take any tissue off that may still be clinging to the tooth. Reinsert it back into the socket if possible, if not place it in a container of milk until you get to the dentist. The best chance to replant the tooth occurs within an hour of losing it, so an emergency dentist can help to save your tooth.

* Chipped Tooth

If you chip one of your teeth, rinse your mouth with warm water to remove any broken pieces. If it has caused you to bleed, place a piece of gauze to the area until it stops. Should swelling occur or if there is any pain, apply a cold compress to the outside area of your mouth where chip occurred. See an emergency dentist as soon as possible.

* Partially Dislodged Tooth

See your dentist immediately if you have partially dislodged one of your teeth. Apply a cold compress to outside of mouth while on your way to the office and use only over the counter pain reliever until you see your dentist.

* Toothache

The first thing to try when suffering a toothache is rinsing your mouth with warm water. If you think there is food lodged in a tooth, use dental floss to remove it. See your dentist as soon as possible, especially if you have swelling.

* Other Issues to See Dentist Right Away

These are a few other tooth related issues where you should see your dentist as soon as possible; an object lodged in tooth you cannot remove, lost a filling or crown, broke a brace or wire, loose bracket or band or an abscess tooth. Dental emergencies when you should head to a hospital or call 911 can occur at any time and require different care depending on injury.

A dental emergency requiring full medical attention at a hospital would be:

* Jaw fracture

* Jaw dislocation

* Lacerations of the soft tissue in the mouth or on the face

* Infection or abscess that has become swollen to the point it is impacting your breathing or swallowing.


If a dental emergency occurs and your dentist is not available you should go the nearest health care facility to you. They may not be able to correct the dental issue, but may be able to help you deal with any pain you are suffering until your dentist is available.



Soft Tissue Injuries

Everyone at one point in their lives has suffered through some form of a soft tissue injury in their mouths. In all reality, it is quite easy to experience a soft tissue injury, and also incredibly easy to recover from one depending on the nature and severity of the injury. These injuries can be incredibly painful due to the very nature of soft tissue. Soft tissue is incredibly delicate and can be very sensitive depending on the person. Because of this different every day events can injure the soft tissue in your mouth, such as biting down too hard on it, eating food that is too hot, falling down and landing on your face and especially the mouth region, and any accident that injures the gums and lining of your mouth. There are several things that you can do to help these injuries heal quickly as well as things your dentist can do to help move along the healing process.

Some home remedies for these injuries have been known to nip the problem in the bud and let you move on with your life. Rinsing your mouth using a mild saltwater solution will clean the affected area of any blood or food and also helps sterilize the area(s) to prevent any possibility of infection. When using this method, put only half a teaspoon of salt for every 8 ounces of water for maximum results. These injuries can be incredibly painful due to the nature of oral soft tissue. In order to bring down swelling and reduce pain, try holding an ice cube against the afflicted area using intervals of 10-15 minutes. This can be very uncomfortable at first, but is very beneficial in the long run. If the bleeding doesn’t stop within the first ten minutes of injury, try holding some gauze against the area for about 10 minutes. If you don’t have gauze, any kind of clean material will work. These injuries tend to bleed and when it’s mixed in with saliva it can seem like more blood than it really is. If the injury is bleeding more than necessary or you feel as though it may need immediate medical attention, it is a good idea to go see an oral surgeon or a doctor.

Most dentists can help with these kinds of injuries, but an oral surgeon is preferable. What oral surgeons and doctors do with these kinds of injuries is clean the area of any kind of debris or food and check to make sure none of your teeth are loose. Although stitches are hardly ever needed for injuries of this nature, oral surgeons can stitch the area if it is very large. Oral surgeons also will most likely prescribe an antibiotic and oral pain medication in order to ward off any kind of infection and to keep the pain to a minimum. Unless your injury is incredibly severe or won’t stop bleeding, you should not have to go see an oral surgeon or a doctor.

Broken Orthodontics

Today I want to go over something that happens to everyone at one time or another, mostly to kids because they are the primary users of Braces and orthodontics.

Most kids will go through a phase where their parents put them into braces when they’re adolescents.

These apparatus can break or become loose and I want you to understand that it’s not a medical emergency if they do break or shake loose.

If a wire breaks or sticks out of the brackets glued to your teeth, and it may be poking you in the cheeks, gums or tongue, you should probably do something about it. There is a product called “dental wax” which you can find at amazon, and you use it to cover the pointy piece that is damaging your tongue, gums or cheeks. You can also try to reposition the wire so that it isn’t stabbing you, but if you’re unable to do that you should just use the dental wax and wait for your next orthodontic visit, it is probably NOT necessary to visit an emergency dentist.

If you’re dealing with a loose bracket, or band, you can try to re attach the piece using dental wax as well. These loose pieces don’t pose a hazard to your health but they can be annoying and they can end up breaking if you don’t secure them. Remember to save any lost bands or brackets you have as well and take them to your next orthodontic visit.

We see a lot of kids in our office with broken or loose braces and we have to turn almost ALL of them away because we can’t do anything about it. We’re not orthodontists! You shouldn’t worry too much about having broken or loose braces, just call your orthodontist and schedule a visit as soon as you can and they will fix you right up.

Don’t waste your time visiting the emergency dentist!

Dental Quotes From Bernie

Bernie Sanders is one of my favorite politicians and I wanted to share a few of the things he has to say that involve my chosen career field!

Look, if you have somebody who doesn’t have health insurance, who doesn’t have a doctor or dentist, and in order to deal with their cold or flu or dental problem, they go to an emergency room – in general, that visit will cost ten times more than walking into a community health center.
-Bernie Sanders


Low-income people, racial or ethnic minorities, pregnant women, seniors, people with special needs, people in rural areas – they all have a much harder time accessing a dentist than other groups of Americans.

-Bernie Sanders


It’s important that we remember we live in the United States of America, and everyone deserves a shot at health care for them and their family!

Do something good for someone today!