When Do You Need Emergency Dental Care?
It’s great to have regular dental visits, but sometimes issues arise that can’t wait until the next scheduled appointment. If you’re in pain, you need immediate attention.
It’s no fun to live with severe dental issues or throbbing pain that interferes with your life. What’s more, emergency issues that aren’t treated in a timely manner can snowball into bigger problems, putting your health at risk. There are instances in which it’s necessary to seek out emergency dental care, at least until you can schedule an appointment with your regular dentist to treat the underlying issue.
How do you know when to seek emergency dental care? Read on to learn about some of the tell-tale signs you shouldn’t ignore.
1) Your Tooth Hurts All The Time
Sometimes we get pain when eating or drinking hot or cold substances. That’s completely normal and the pain usually subsides fairly quickly. Nagging, lingering pain, on the other hand, is not normal. This is an indication that there is an issue that needs treatment. Some reasons you may be experiencing constant toothache could be an abscess, a fractured tooth, an infection or something more serious. Don’t try to tough it out in hopes that it will disappear on its own. When it comes to consistent pain, it is best to go to an emergency dental clinic and get the issue looked at by a professional.
2) You Have A Fracture
A tooth fracture isn’t uncommon. People can incur a tooth fracture from sports, auto accidents, slips, and falls or even biting into a hard piece of food. A fractured tooth hurts a lot and can cause problems if it isn’t promptly treated. Bacteria can fester in the crack of the fracture and infect the tooth. The fracture can also be dangerous to other parts of your mouth. If there are sharp edges, it can cause lacerations to your tongue and mouth. If you suspect you have a fractured tooth, don’t delay getting to an emergency dental clinic to have it treated.
3) Bleeding Of The Gums
The state of our gums can tell us a lot about our oral health. Bleeding gums is never a good sign. It can indicate periodontal disease or other serious conditions. Gums can bleed from brushing, flossing, eating certain foods or for no identifiable reason. If your gums are bleeding constantly and won’t subside, have an emergency dentist examine your mouth as this is considered to be abnormal.
4) Your Tooth Is Knocked Out
Similar to fractures, a tooth can be dislodged for a wide variety of reasons. This can include accidents, sports, or biting down on something that causes distress to the tooth. If you have a knocked out, it’s important to see an emergency dentist right away. Don’t forget to bring the tooth with you if possible. Teeth that are placed back into their socket within an hour have a greater chance of being saved.
If your tooth is still attached to your gum but is wiggling around, avoid playing with it or pressing down on it as much as possible. While en route to your emergency dentist, try and put the tooth back in the socket and gently bite down on some wet gauze or a cold tea bag. This will keep the area moist and will help you cope with the pain. It’s essential to see a doctor quickly because there can be nerve damage to the site of the lost tooth. The sooner a dentist can examine you, the greater the chance of avoiding complications.
5) Lost Crown, Filling, etc
If you’ve had dental work done in the past that involves any type of bonding or prosthetic, there’s a slight chance it could become dislodged. If this happens, get it replaced as soon as possible. Your teeth are exposed to damage without their protective parts, and sharp edges also pose a hazard to the soft tissues in your mouth.
In the event of an emergency dental issue, call your usual clinic and see if they have a referral emergency clinic or emergency hours of their own. If they do not, go to a hospital emergency room. The emergency room staff can determine the level of urgency your care requires, and prescribe you something to manage the pain in the meantime. In more severe cases, there may be an oral surgeon on call in the hospital who can assist you.
When it comes to teeth, it can be tempting to try and ignore pain. But if it is persistent and aggravating, don’t suffer through it. You could have a tooth fracture, an abscess, infection or any number of critical issues. Ignoring these won’t make them go away. In fact, you could bring about a whole new set of complications.
It’s not always easy to find an emergency dental clinic, so ask your dentist about what your home clinic offers for acute care. If all else fails, head to the emergency room. Emergency dental issues are not to be taken lightly, so take care of yourself and take care of your mouth!