Did you know that experts recommend visiting the dentist twice a year for a cleaning and exam? Doing so can prevent cavities, gingivitis, and other issues from developing or worsening.
Unfortunately, only 63% of adults in the United States visited the dentist at least once in 2020. As a result, many people have dental emergencies that require immediate care.
If you’re experiencing oral pain or bothersome symptoms, you may wonder: “Should I head to an emergency dental service near me?”
Some dental emergencies are obvious, such as trauma to the mouth due to some sort of accident. Yet, not all dental emergencies involve trauma. Often, they are the result of infection or subtle symptoms that go untreated until they become quite painful.
So what is a dental emergency? Keep reading this post as we cover some of the symptoms that require emergency dental care!
Oral pain that is so severe you can’t sleep is common when you have an infection or other serious issues. You may feel the pain radiating to your jaw, ear, and neck or feel throbbing, especially when you’re lying down.
If you have this type of pain, don’t wait to make an emergency dental appointment. The dentist can get to the bottom of your pain by taking x-rays and doing an exam.
Swelling of the face, gums, or lymph nodes is a sign of infection. Since infection can be life-threatening if it reaches the bloodstream, you should seek emergency care, especially if you have other health problems.
Your dentist will ask you questions about your symptoms and perform an exam to see where the infection is coming from. Then, they’ll come up with a treatment plan and prescribe antibiotics. Once they take effect, your swelling should go down promptly and then your dentist can fix the cause of the issue.
Sudden Tooth Loss
Losing a tooth isn’t just a cosmetic issue—it can also affect your oral health in many ways. When you lose a tooth, your teeth will shift to fill in the gap. Over time, you may experience jaw bone loss or difficulty chewing.
Thankfully, if you act fast, you may be able to replant the tooth that got knocked out. Call the dentist immediately and ask how to preserve the tooth until you arrive at the dental office.
Cracked or Broken Tooth
Breaking a tooth is another reason to visit your dentist ASAP. The faster you get to the dentist, the better your chances of preserving the tooth.
They will likely evaluate the location and severity of the crack or break to see whether dental bonding chipped tooth is a viable solution. This restores the strength of the tooth and prevents bacteria from getting inside the crack, where it can become infected.
Growth or Sore
Growths or sores in your mouth can be a sign of cancer. While most people don’t realize it, your dentist is trained to spot abnormalities and can refer you to a specialist if they deem it necessary.
In some cases, growths that look like bumps or boils are abscesses. These agonizing boils on the gum usually are full of pus and blood and are a sign that you have an infection in the root of your tooth. Without treatment, an abscess will cause other problems, such as bone loss or severe swelling of the face.
So if you have a new sore in your mouth, it’s a good idea to call the dentist.
Bleeding when you brush your teeth or floss isn’t a good sign. It’s one of the first symptoms of gum disease. In addition to bleeding, you may also have foul breath, swollen gums, or pain.
When caught early on, gum disease can be reversed. However, once it reaches a certain point it’s difficult to regain your oral health.
Thus, you should consider the initial warning signs of gum disease an emergency and schedule an appointment with your dentist promptly. They’ll be able to tell you exactly what is going on in your mouth and help you treat the issue before it gets worse.
It’s normal to have bad breath from time to time, especially if you eat strong-smelling foods or have just woken up. If your breath smells foul even after you’ve brushed your teeth, you may have tooth decay.
Moreover, having a metallic taste in your mouth is a sign of loose or cracking metal filling. If you have these types of fillings, losing one can lead to another cavity and possibly the need for a root canal. To avoid this, seek treatment promptly!
Jaw Popping or Pain
Your dentist also handles emergencies related to the jaw, such as popping or a locking sensation. These symptoms are usually the result of TMJ, but they can also be caused by bouts of stress. Grinding the jaw can also lead to ear pain, headaches, and even toothaches.
Your dentist can check you for this condition and help you prevent the health issues that it causes through proper treatment.
Find an Emergency Dental Service Near Me
After reading this emergency dental care guide, you have a better idea of whether your oral pain requires immediate treatment. If so, use the suggestions in this post to find a dentist or type “emergency dental service near me” into your search engine. Just be sure to check reviews from past patients to make sure the dentist is reputable!
If you found the emergency dental care advice in this post helpful, check out more of our health-related content!