Dental Emergencies: When Is It Time To Go To A Dentist

The occasional mouth or tooth pain may be considered normal, but if you are not due to lose a tooth or if you haven’t recently received dental care, it may be a sign that some trouble is afoot. If you have nagging or persistent pain that comes and goes, or pain that worsens with time, it is time to evaluate your oral health and see if you are experiencing a dental emergency.

Toothaches vary in size, intensity, and frequency. Knowing what type of pain constitutes an emergency can save you valuable time and money. Your dental pain may also be a sign that something is going on with the rest of your body; waiting even one more day may cause additional complications that may be harder to stay on top of. Proper diagnosis from a qualified dentist is the only way to really know if you are experiencing an emergency. Here are some clear indicators that you need to seek dental care as soon as possible:

If you are an adult and you have loose teeth

Adults with good oral health should never experience wiggly or loose teeth. It is assumed that healthy teeth have a good solid foundation in the jawbone of your mouth, and they are not going anywhere. Loose teeth may be a sign of injury to the gums or jawbone; if you have sustained an injury to the face of some sort, this is a clear indicator that you must treat loose teeth as an emergency and seek dental care immediately.

If you have a severe, persistent toothache

A severe toothache is a sign that it’s time to seek medical attention. There are various causes of toothaches, and if you have been experiencing symptoms for an extended period of time, it is best to get into your dentist to determine the cause of your discomfort. Minor toothaches may indicate sensitivity issues, but more significant pain needs prompt attention to avoid further infection and decay from setting in.

If your gums are painful and bleeding

Most people minimize the occurrence of bleeding gums, but it is almost always an indicator that more severe issues are brewing. Some of the most prevalent signs of gum disease are swollen and bleeding gums. Doing what you can to maintain proper brushing and flossing techniques at home is the most effective way to prevent gum disease, but if you have signs and symptoms including pain and excessive bleeding, you must be examined to determine the cause of the problem. If gum disease is left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss and even degeneration of the jaw bone, and these conditions are irreversible once they set in. See your dentist promptly to avoid further complications.

If your jaw is swollen and painful

Swelling of your jaw can indicate signs of acute infection. Salivary gland infection, while not very common, is a serious issue and should be treated as such. If you have pain in your jaw coupled with a dry mouth and persistent bad taste, seek medical attention immediately. Harmful bacteria can block up salivary glands, preventing them from lubricating the mouth and gums and washing away potentially harmful debris. If an infection is neglected or left untreated, it can spread throughout the body and cause more serious complications.

If you have an abscess

A dental abscess is disease and infection at the root of a tooth. This can be caused by untreated cavities or untreated gum disease that has worsened over time. An abscess could also be the result of trauma to the mouth. Signs of infection and abscess include fever, swelling, a foul taste in your mouth, swollen glands, and even blood and pus along the gumline. A dental abscess will most likely require surgery to relieve swelling and to remove the infection at its source.

If your canker sores aren’t getting better

Any sores and lesions in the mouth that worsen over time or aren’t healing on their own should be looked at for other sources of infection. Often, a mouth lesion is an indicator that something more serious is going on elsewhere in the body. Have them looked at immediately.

If you have frequent headaches

It is possible that the source of your headache begins in your mouth. Your jaw, neck, and head are all connected, so tooth and jaw pain can radiate outward, causing pain elsewhere. You might be suffering from bruxism, or night grinding of your teeth. Tooth grinding causes lots of pressure and stress on the teeth and bones in your head; this is a frequent cause of headaches. See your dentist if you suspect that the cause of your head pain begins with your teeth.

If your tooth goes numb

If a toothache suddenly goes away and your tooth goes numb, it could be a sign that an infection has killed the root of the tooth. A lack of feeling is not a good sign, it could be that an abscess has reached your root system and a root canal would be in order. Pay very close attention to how your teeth feel to determine if emergency care is necessary.

A toothbrush a day……

As a dental patient, it is imperative to pay attention to what is going on in your mouth. In addition to making regular inspections of mouth, teeth, and gums at home, it is essential that you maintain good oral hygiene habits and visit your dentist regularly to reduce the likelihood of a dental emergency. Dr. Gordon Krueger DDS, MS, PA, and his talented team of professionals are well equipped to handle all aspects of your oral health and restore your smile to its finest. If you suspect that you may need a dental intervention, contact us today to set up an appointment. Visit today to experience your healthiest and most vibrant smile!

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