Dental Emergencies

Toothache

A “toothache” is pain typically around a tooth, teeth or jaws. In most instances, toothaches are caused by a dental problem, such as a dental cavity, a cracked or fractured tooth, an exposed tooth root, or gum disease. Sometimes diseases of the jaw joint (temporomandibular joint), or spasms of the muscles used for chewing can cause toothache like symptoms. 

The severity of a toothache can range from chronic and mild to sharp and excruciating. It can be a dull ache or intense. The pain may be aggravated by chewing or by thermal foods and liquids which are cold or hot. A thorough oral examination, proper tooth testing and evaluation, along with appropriate dental x-rays, can help determine the cause. What we want to know is whether the toothache is really coming from a tooth or somewhere else.

Extractions

General Procedure

When restoration procedures such as root canal therapy, crowns, or fillings are not enough to save a tooth, it may need to be pulled, or extracted. 

Tooth extraction procedures today are far less painful than ever before, thanks to powerful anesthetics and sedatives. In many cases, a patient who has tooth pulled experiences little or no discomfort, and only minor bleeding. 

Before a tooth is extracted, the area surrounding the tooth is numbed with a topical/and or injectable anesthetic such as Novocaine. 

Patients with extracted teeth sometimes need to take an antibiotic, and at the very least, take precautions following the procedure to ensure that infection doesn’t occur. 

Smoking, vigorous brushing and rinsing, and drinking liquids through straws are discouraged during the post-operative period because they hinder healing and may cause the wound to open. Cold compresses applied to the outside cheek near the extraction area can help reduce any swelling and promote faster healing.

Trauma

Dislodged Teeth

Injuries to the mouth can cause teeth to be pushed back into their sockets. If the tooth is pushed partially out of the socket, your dentist may reposition and stabilize your tooth. If the pulp remains healthy, then no other treatment is necessary. However, if the pulp becomes damaged or infected, root canal treatment will be required. Root canal treatment is usually started within a few weeks of the injury and a medication, such as calcium hydroxide, will be placed inside the tooth. Eventually, a permanent root canal filling will be placed and the canal will be sealed. Call Henderson Emergency dentist Joshua Ignatowicz today for an appointment.

Avulsed Teeth

If an injury causes a tooth to completely knock out of your mouth, it is important that you seek treatment immediately! It is important to keep the avulsed tooth moist. If possible, put it back into the socket. A tooth can be saved if it remains moist. You can even put the tooth in milk or a glass of water (add a pinch of salt). Root canal treatment may be necessary based upon the stage of root development. The length of time the tooth was out of your mouth and the way the tooth was stored may influence the type of treatment you receive and how successful the outcome. Contact Henderson Emergency dentist Joshua Ignatowicz today!

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that erupt in the back corners of the upper and lower normal adult mouth. Unfortunately, most people experience problems from wisdom teeth; in most cases, this is because the teeth erupt too close to existing permanent teeth, causing crowding, improper bites, and other problems. 

If wisdom teeth are causing a problem and are not pulled, they can sometimes become impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth can be extremely painful, as well as harmful to your oral health. Symptoms are easy to spot: severe discomfort, inflammation, and some kinds of infections. 

Many people need to have their wisdom teeth extracted to avoid future serious problems. In general, the lack of the four wisdom teeth does not hamper one’s ability to properly bite down, speak or eat.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may have an impacted wisdom tooth:

  • Facial swelling
  • Infection
  • Pain
  • Gum swelling

Malocclusion

Causes
Occlusion refers to the alignment of teeth and the way that the upper and lower teeth fit together (bite). Ideally, all upper teeth fit slightly over the lower teeth. The points of the molars fit the grooves of the opposite molar.

The upper teeth keep the cheeks and lips from being bitten and the lower teeth protect the tongue.

Malocclusion is most often hereditary, which means the condition is passed down through families. There may be a difference between the size of the upper and lower jaws or between jaw and tooth size, resulting in overcrowding of teeth or in abnormal bite patterns.

Variations in size or structure of either jaw may affect its shape, as can birth defects such as cleft lip and palate. Other causes of malocclusion include:

  • Childhood habits such as thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, pacifier use beyond age 3, and prolonged use of a bottle
  • Extra teeth, lost teeth, impacted teeth, or abnormally shaped teeth
  • Ill-fitting dental fillings, crowns, appliances, retainers, or braces
  • Misalignment of jaw fractures after a severe injury
  • Tumors of the mouth and jaw

There are different categories of malocclusion.

  • Class 1 malocclusion is the most common. The bite is normal, but the upper teeth slightly overlap the lower teeth.
  • Class 2 malocclusion, called retrognathism or overbite, occurs when the upper jaw and teeth severely overlap the bottom jaw and teeth.
  • Class 3 malocclusion, called prognathism or underbite, occurs when the lower jaw protrudes or juts forward, causing the lower jaw and teeth to overlap the upper jaw and teeth

Symptoms

  • Abnormal alignment of teeth
  • Abnormal appearance of the face
  • Difficulty or discomfort when biting or chewing
  • Speech difficulties (rare) including lisp
  • Mouth breathing (breathing through the mouth without closing the lips)

Exams and Tests

Most problems with teeth alignment are discovered by a dentist during a routine exam. The dentist may pull your cheek outward and ask you to bite down to check how well your back teeth come together. If there is any problem, the dentist will usually refer you to an orthodontist for diagnosis and treatment. 

Dental x-rays, head or skull x-rays or facial x-rays may be required. Plaster or plastic molds of the teeth are often needed.

Contact us for an appointment!