There are few things worse than a toothache. Not only does it cause you pain, but it also makes eating and drinking difficult and can cause problems sleeping. While any kind of tooth pain might feel like an emergency in the moment you are hurting, many people second guess themselves and wonder, “Do I really need to schedule an emergency dental appointment?”
Determining what counts as an emergency and what’s a routine dental issue can be difficult when you’re in pain. The difference between routine treatment and an emergency dental procedure can have a meaningful impact on your insurance and wallet.
If you’re going through any dental issues, read on to find out whether you need emergency dental care in Boise.
What Is Emergency Dental Care?
Dental emergencies can typically be categorized into three main areas. First, procedures required immediate care to save a tooth or replace a crown or bridge that has fallen out. Second, dental emergencies related to relieving severe pain that impacts your ability to eat or sleep. Third, dental emergencies related to identifying and treating possible infection. While most people think the signs of an emergency are obvious, there are some cases where you may not even know the cause of your pain.
While some people choose to ignore dental pain, it’s important to come see us at Boise Family Dental Care as soon as you can to prevent the problem from beginning to affect adjacent teeth or bone which could lead to more complex oral health issues that require more invasive and expensive treatment. What’s more, there are several systemic health issues that can be triggered by poor oral health. Let’s take a moment to discuss a few of these systemic issues before we get back to a deeper look at common dental emergencies.
Long-Term Systemic Health Issues Tied To Oral Health
The World Health Organization estimates that 3.5 billion people have some kind of oral disease.
Your oral health has a more impact than just having a pretty smile. While maintaining a healthy smile is good for your self-confidence, there are other serious systemic issues that could actually be life-threatening.
The normal bacteria that resides in your mouth are usually not a problem when kept in check through regular brushings and dental cleanings.
Unfortunately, without proper oral health and regular visits to your dentist, and overgrowth of bacteria can build-up and cause inflammation and bleeding in your mouth. The areas of bleeding and inflammation can eventually become an access point for bacteria and infection to enter your circulatory system and spread throughout your body. In serious cases, this can cause bacteria to get into the inner lining of your heart chambers or valves; this is called endocarditis. In minor cases of endocarditis, you can take antibiotics to clear up the infection. In severe and advanced cases where the infection goes untreated, it could possibly lead to the need for heart surgery to repair.
If the bacteria in your mouth gets pulled into your lungs, you could catch pneumonia. This is a serious disease that can cause coughing, fever, nausea, pain, and other symptoms. Pneumonia can also cause fluid build-up in the lungs and impaired breathing.
While most of the time you can treat pneumonia with antibiotics, there are some cases in which patients must go on a ventilator and have suffer long-term effects from pneumonia.
There are some studies that show a link between heart disease and oral hygiene. While the causes aren’t fully understood yet, we do know that there’s a moderate connection between the two. We also know that smoking can increase the chances of heart disease in those with poor oral health.
Since smoking causes oral health issues, Dr. Crump’s first piece of advice to anyone that comes to see him is to seek help to stop smoking.
Signs You Need Emergency Dental Care
Now that you know the consequences of ignoring oral health, how do you know when it’s time to seek out emergency dental care in Boise? When should you contact Dr. Crump immediately and when can you wait?
The short answer is that anytime you have a dental issue, you should contact us at Boise Family Dental Care, but we know that sometimes you have other things going on in your life. If you have any of the following issues going on though, you should shuffle your schedule and make it a priority to contact our office immediately and schedule an emergency appointment.
Severe Long-Lasting Pain
Everyone has dental pain at some point, but most of the time it’s mild and goes away on its own. An example of dental pain that you may experience that can resolve spontaneously might be if you experience tooth pain related to grinding your teeth due to anxiety.
But if you’re experiencing a persistent toothache or a toothache that is worsening instead of improving you should contact us immediately. Toothaches can cause you to have difficulty eating, drinking, and sleeping. With some types of toothaches certain cold or hot foods can make the pain worse. Another common toothache symptom is experiencing pain when there is any pressure on your tooth; such as biting and chewing.
If your toothache also comes with a bad taste in your mouth, fever, swelling, and problems swallowing, this means that you most likely have an infection. Infections in your mouth can cause serious problems and spread easily. If you have these symptoms, schedule an emergency dental visit with Dr. Crump right away.
An abscessed tooth can require antibiotics and cleaning. You may need a root canal to clean out the pulp and fix the problem.
Even if grinding your teeth is the cause of the pain, you will need to see a professional soon. When you grind your teeth, you run the risk of chipping teeth and you are putting unnecessary pressure on your jaw. This can cause damage, including causing your jaw to misalign.
You may need to get a custom mouthpiece made to wear while you sleep to stop your teeth from grinding together. If your grinding is due to anxiety, you may also need to speak to a medical or mental health professional to address your anxiety issues. While we can help with your physical issue, Dr. Crump always recommends seeking help for any anxiety you may deal with.
A Knocked-Out Tooth
Losing a tooth because of physical contact is always a traumatic experience. These accidents can happen for a number of reasons. For example, if you have a child that plays contact sports, there’s a good chance you’ve either dealt with this yourself or you’ve seen someone else’s child deal with a missing tooth. Other common causes of a knocked-out tooth are falling off a bike, a car accident, or any other impact on your face.
The first thing you should do when your tooth gets knocked out is to make sure you haven’t sustained another injury. If you’ve suffered a concussion or head laceration, you obviously want to deal with that first. A visit to the emergency room may be necessary.
When you have a tooth knocked out (and it’s an adult tooth), you should try to place it back into the socket until you can get to the dentist. You can also place it in milk or between your cheek and gums, but make sure you don’t swallow the tooth!
No matter what, you’ll want to get to the dentist right away. If you call our office, we’ll get you in to see Dr. Crump as soon as possible to assist you with this dental emergency.
Chipped or Broken Tooth
You can chip or break your tooth in many of the same ways you can knock your teeth out. But there are actually quite a few different factors that can contribute to teeth becoming chipped for cracked. Weakened teeth are more at risk to chip or break.
There are several different things that can weaken your teeth. Cavities and larger fillings can make your teeth weak. Additionally, when you grind your teeth, you can weaken the enamel which can cause them to chip easier as well. Weakened and chipped teeth can also occur due to grinding or biting into something hard.
Also, your diet plays a major role in the strength of your teeth. If you want to keep your teeth strong, you should avoid acidic foods that eat away at your enamel. Coffee, acidic fruit juices, and other similar foods can expose your teeth to chipping. Sugars also weaken your teeth. The bacteria in your mouth feed off of sugars and reproduce. They will then attack your enamel which causes similar results as acidic foods.
Finally, stomach acids can also harm teeth. People with acid reflux often have acids come into their mouth when they are sleeping. If the acid sits in their mouth it can weaken their enamel and corrode and damage teeth making them more susceptible to chipping and breaking. People with eating disorders that induce vomiting, also bring acids into their mouths and that damages their enamel and teeth.
What To Do If Your Teeth Chip or Break
One challenge that people have with chipped teeth have is that you may not realize that it’s happened. If your back teeth chip, it can be hard to tell.
Run your tongue along your teeth. Do you feel pain or irritation along your gum line? If the chip exposed the nerves of your tooth, you may feel pain when you eat.
Once you notice that you have a chip or break, you should get to the dentist right away. A chipped or broken tooth is weaker, making it more susceptible to injury. It can also lead to infection if you don’t take care of it.
When you chip or break your tooth, there are a few treatment options. First, you should clean the area right away with warm water. If you still have the chipped fragment, you can put it in a glass of milk to keep it moist. Dr. Crump may be able to cement it back into place.
If that isn’t possible, we’ll discuss options with you, like veneers, bonding, and overlays. When you come in for your appointment at Boise Family Dental Care, Dr. Crump will help you determine the best option for your needs.
When you brush your teeth or floss, you may notice some blood on your gums. In most cases, this is normal. Your brushes could hit your gums and cut them, or you could floss too hard and cause the wire to lacerate your gums.
If the bleeding happens often and is an excessive problem though, you should see Dr. Crump as soon as possible. This could be a sign that you have periodontal disease, which is a serious infection of the soft tissue around your gums and the bones that support your teeth.
It’s estimated that almost half of Americans have periodontal disease. There are four stages of this disease: gingivitis, early, moderate, and advanced. As it progresses through the four stages, it becomes more difficult to treat. The earlier you make an appointment and start treatment the easier it will be to deal with.
Treatments For Periodontal Disease
As long as periodontal disease isn’t too advanced, there are some effective non-surgical treatments.
Scaling is one option for treatment. This removes tartar and bacteria from your teeth and underneath your gums using a laser, regular instruments, or an ultrasonic tool. This treatment is generally for the gingivitis and early stage.
Root planing is the process of smoothing root surfaces to stop the future buildup of bacteria and tartar. It also gets rid of the bacteria that affects healing and causes inflammation. You could also receive antibiotics to get rid of any infection. You may receive an antibacterial mouthwash along with an oral antibiotic to make sure the infection doesn’t come back.
Once periodontal disease progresses, you may need a surgical treatment. These treatments range from soft tissue grafts, in which tissue gets removed from the roof of your mouth (in most cases) and put into your gumline to flap surgery, which involves having small cuts in your gum to lift the tissue back and expose your roots.
All this is to say that the sooner you make an appointment at Boise Family Dental Care to see Dr. Crump, the better. Early detection of periodontal disease means non-surgical treatments and a lower risk of serious infections.
Losing a crown can be a serious issue for a number of reasons. First, when your crown comes out it could expose the inner part of your tooth, causing extreme pain and sensitivity to both hot and cold temperatures.
Your tooth could also easily crack or chip without the crown. The crown is put on your tooth to strengthen it. Once you take the crown away, you run the risk of doing more damage. This can lead to further issues.
A lost crown can also result in getting food and bacteria in your tooth. You could get an infection if the crown falls off.
If you can’t see Dr. Crump right away and was able to keep the crown, you should buy a temporary crown replacement at the store. They sell these kits at most drug and grocery stores. It contains a type of dental cement that you can use to reattach the crown. You can also use toothpaste if you can’t find these kits.
Whether you are able to put the crown back in place or not, you should call us at Boise Family Dental Care immediately to schedule an appointment. We can get you a new crown so that you don’t have to deal with the pain and risk of infection.
Much like a lost crown, a lost filling leaves your tooth weakened and exposed to bacteria. When you lose a filling, your tooth will probably be very sensitive to different types of food. You could deal with a great amount of pain until you have it fixed.
If you can’t come see us right away, the first thing you should do is clean the area and try to keep it clean until your appointment. Brush gently around the area and use warm water to clean around the lost filling. You should also chew food on the opposite side of your mouth if possible.
For the pain, you can use clove oil, a natural remedy that’s found in most drug and grocery stores. Use a Q-tip to put a small amount around the affected area until you’re able to come see us.
You can use dental cement to replace the filling for a few days if you can’t come to the office for a few days. You can also use sugarfree gum as a substitute for the dental cement in emergencies, but it’s far from a perfect solution.
Come in for an appointment and we can get you a new filling as soon as possible.
Why You Should Trust Us With Your Emergency Care
We know that when you’re in pain, it takes a lot of trust to put yourself into the care of someone else. That’s why we work hard every day to build trust with our patients and within the community. There are a lot of options in Boise for dental care. Here’s why you should choose us at Boise Family Dental Care.
Experience Dealing With All Types of Dental Emergencies
Dr. Crump graduated from the University of Louisville in 2006 and started his dental practice in Boise in 2008. For over a decade, he’s worked with hundreds of clients to help them live their best life through high-quality dental care.
His belief in keeping procedures as pain free and comfortable as possible sets him apart from other dentists in the area. He believes that everyone deserves high-quality dental care and doesn’t want anyone to stay away from the dentist due to anxiety or fear.
Dr. Crump believes in honesty above all in his dental practice and will always inform his patients of all their options and make sure that they can make informed decisions. He keeps up with the newest treatment methods so that his clients always have the best options for their care.
When you schedule an appointment at Boise Family Dental Care, you’ll get high-quality care from an experienced professional. You can trust Dr. Crump with your oral health.
A Dedication To The Community
We believe that our success gives us a responsibility to helping the community.
One of the biggest reasons that people avoid dental care is cost. 69% of people who say they don’t visit the dentist cite cost as their number one reason. Given the health risks of poor oral health that mentioned earlier, we believe in helping as many people as possible.
For this reason, we started the Sharing Healthy Smiles Giveaway in 2015, which allowed us to provide dental care to those in need free of charge. For 13 weeks, we picked someone in the community once a week for a free dental exam, cleaning, and x-ray. Each winner then went into a drawing to receive up to $35,000 in free dental care.
We also support Toys for Tots, The Ada County Sheriffs Association, and local schools. When you choose us, you help us make the community a better place to live and work.
A Staff Dedicated To Your Comfort
At Boise Family Dental Care, we’re proud of our staff. We get amazing reviews about our staff and their willingness to help. Everyone in Dr. Crump’s office undergoes extensive training and keeps up with new regulations and methods to make your visit to our office an amazing one.
Our patients often talk about our staff’s friendliness and expertise. From the moment you step into our office, we’ll treat you with the respect that you deserve. Our dedication to service is one of the many things that sets us apart.
We’re Here to Serve You
Whether you need a standard teeth cleaning or in need of emergency dental services in Boise, Idaho we are here to help. We have the experience, service, and knowledge you need to protect your oral health.
We will work with you and your family to make sure that you know your treatment options, make an informed decision, and have the most comfortable experience possible. We want to be the dentistry practice that your family trusts for years to come.
So, if you’ve lost a tooth, have oral pain, or have an issue with a crown or filling, we’re here to help. Get in touch with us at Boise Family Dental Care and set up an appointment with Dr. Crump today. We look forward to hearing from you