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Featuring consumer information from Columbia School of Dental & Oral Surgery
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Oral Health Made Simple: Your Prescription For Knowledge
 PREVENT PROBLEMS
Small BoxAll About Cavities
Small BoxBrushing and Flossing
Small BoxFluoride
Small BoxMouth-Healthy Eating
Small BoxSealants
Small BoxTaking Care of Your Teeth
Small BoxTobacco
Small BoxYour Dental Visit
Small BoxMORE
 CONDITIONS
Small BoxBad Breath
Small BoxCavities
Small BoxCold Sores
Small BoxDry Mouth
Small BoxImpacted Tooth
Small BoxSensitive Teeth
Small BoxTMJ
Small BoxTooth Discoloration
Small BoxMORE
 TREATMENTS
Small BoxCrowns
Small BoxDentures
Small BoxFillings: The Basics
Small BoxGum Surgery
Small BoxImplants
Small BoxRoot Canal Treatment
Small BoxScaling and Root Planing
Small BoxWhitening
Small BoxMORE
 GENERAL TOPICS
Small BoxControlling Pain
Small BoxCosmetic Dentistry
Small BoxEmergencies
Small BoxFill, Repair, Replace
Small BoxKids And Teens
Small BoxOral Health and Your Body
Small BoxOrthodontics
Small BoxPeriodontics
Small BoxSeniors
Small BoxMORE
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Step 1 Prevent ProblemsSimplestepsPrevent Problems
Step 2 Understand ConditionsSimplestepsUnderstand Conditions
Step 3 Explore TreatmentsSimplestepsExplore Treatments

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Back to Emergencies
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Dental Emergencies: Introduction

Pain is one of the reasons people go to the dentist. A painful tooth can be triggered by hot or cold foods and drinks. Heavy biting or grinding may break a tooth and cause it to hurt when you chew. Sometimes, when a filling falls out, you may have a throbbing ache.

Any injury to teeth or gums should not be ignored. Nerves or blood vessels could be damaged. There is also a risk of getting an infection. If an infection is not treated, it can spread to other parts of the head and neck and cause serious health problems. In rare cases it can even become life threatening. It is very important to always seek treatment for a dental injury. Getting injured teeth repaired and treated as soon as possible after an injury is the best thing to do.

Today, dentists have many options for dealing with dental emergencies. There are advances in pain management and ways to restore teeth. Teeth can be repaired with synthetic materials that are strong and look as good as your natural teeth. Your dentist has the training and skills to identify what the problem is and how serious it is. He or she almost always can reduce or get rid of your pain within a few minutes.

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space placeholder.When To Call Your Dentist
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If you're not sure if a dental problem is an emergency, dentists offer this advice: If it hurts, it's an emergency. This is because even injuries that seem small can affect the living tissues inside the teeth. Quick treatment improves the odds of saving injured or damaged teeth.

Any obvious damage to a tooth should be treated as soon as possible. Chips or fractures can affect the living tissue inside the tooth, causing more problems in the future. Your dentist can prevent the damage from getting worse.

The same is true of a lost filling or crown. Even if you don't have any symptoms, the tooth has lost its support and it could easily become damaged. Pieces could break off or crumble, and you would need more extensive treatment. If you see your dentist right away, there's a good chance he or she will be able to repair the damage more easily.

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