Dental emergencies refer to situations necessitating urgent dental care without delays. They can be incredibly stressful and anxiety-inducing, but they’re also extremely common, especially among children. Approximately one-third of all children experience some form of dental trauma, and even more experience dental emergencies of various natures. Dental emergencies are particularly common between 18 to 40 months of age (when toddlers start exploring their environment) and the adolescent period (when children engage in sports).
Toothaches are extremely common amongst children of all ages, and they always have an underlying cause. Mild toothaches can happen due to impacted food stuck between the teeth. However, persistent and severe toothaches may indicate deeper causes, such as wisdom teeth eruption, tooth decay, fractures, trauma, infections, and more.
Tips to Relieve Toothaches:
- Cleanse the affected tooth with warm water.
- Help your child brush and floss to remove impacted foods.
- Apply a cold compress to the cheeks to reduce swelling.
- Contact the pediatric dentist if the toothache persists.
The crown is the visible part of the tooth above the gum tissues. In most cases, dental injuries and trauma lead to a crown fracture, and the severity of the problem depends on the size of the crack. Minor enamel cracks aren’t considered dental emergencies. However, if you notice changes in the tooth’s color, there’s a strong chance that the fracture extends into the pulp chamber. Our kids’ emergency dentist in Ashburn & South Riding will take x-rays to determine the extent of the fracture and recommend treatments accordingly.
Tips to Handle a Fracture:
- Rinse the mouth with warm water.
- Place a cold compress on the cheeks to reduce swelling.
- Offer a pain killer, such as Tylenol.
- Go to the pediatric dentist immediately.
Knocked-Out Tooth (Dental Avulsion)
You must contact the pediatric dentist immediately if the child’s tooth is knocked out completely. Dentists don’t usually re-implant knocked-out baby teeth because that can potentially harm the erupting permanent teeth underneath. However, a knocked-out permanent tooth can be re-implanted and saved if you act fast. Generally speaking, the chances of restoring a permanent tooth decreases after an hour, so you must act decisively.
Tips to Handle Dental Avulsion:
- Recover the knocked-out tooth by the crown (don’t touch the root).
- Rinse the dirt and debris off the tooth without scrubbing.
- Encourage your child to place the tooth against the cheek pouch to preserve it. However, for younger children, you can place the tooth in a glass of milk or saliva.
- Ensure the tooth remains moist at all times.
- Visit the pediatric dentist immediately.
Tooth Pushed into the Jawbone (Dental Intrusion)
Dental trauma often pushes the tooth into the jawbone, where it can get stuck. If the tooth isn’t pushed up excessively (less than 3mm) and the ligament isn’t damaged, there’s a strong chance to recover and restore the tooth. If you suspect your child is experiencing dental intrusion, then you must contact our pediatric dentist immediately. The dentist might perform root canal therapy to protect the tooth’s external structure.
Tips to Handle Dental Intrusion:
- Rinse the child’s mouth with cold water.
- Place an ice pack on the cheeks to reduce the swelling.
- Offer a painkiller, like Tylenol, to alleviate the discomfort.
- Contact the pediatric dentist immediately.
The aforementioned examples are some of the most common types of dental emergencies. However, dental emergencies can take numerous forms, such as root fractures, dental concussions, fractures jaws, soft tissue injuries, and more. If you believe your child is experiencing a dental emergency, contact our kids’ emergency dentist in Ashburn & South Riding immediately.