As a rule of thumb, it’s usually a good idea to see a doctor when you experience sudden aches and pains, especially when they’re extremely painful. The same rule applies when you suddenly experience problems with your teeth and gums. However, in case of a dental emergency, it helps to have some knowledge to let you know when you’ve got a serious problem on your hands.
Here are some telltale signs to warn you when you need emergency dental care:
- Tooth Damage
Seek dental emergency services if you have loose, cracked, or missing teeth. Left untreated, these can turn into major issues that can negatively impact your overall health. Be especially careful with teeth suddenly becoming loose; it may be evidence of a more serious problem.
Missing teeth are usually caused by traumatic injuries such as sports injuries. In those cases, getting medical help is a priority; act quickly. If you move fast enough, the dentist may be able to reinsert the tooth. Locate the tooth and keep it clean on the way to the dentist to improve the chances of reinsertion.
- Tooth Numbness
When your tooth hurts, the pain generally doesn’t go away on its own. In case of minor problems, home remedies like painkillers are enough. However, if the pain vanishes without the help of pain remedies, this could indicate a problem, especially if the tooth suddenly feels numb.
Numbness doesn’t mean the problem is gone, it’s a sign the infection has spread to the nerves. In that case, make an appointment with your dentist; you may need a root canal to preserve your tooth and avoid further spread of infection. Pay close attention whenever you have a toothache; it can be a sign of a major issue that needs your full attention.
- Severe Pain
Toothaches are generally the first sign of a problem, but the level of pain can tell you a few things about it. In many cases, the pain is minor and can be treated with home remedies like ice packs and painkillers. However, when the pain is intense and persists after taking over-the-counter medication, it may be a sign that infection has set in. A quick response to your pain depends on a proper diagnosis, so get to your dentist right away for a proper diagnosis.
- Bleeding Gums
A little bleeding from your gums isn’t always a cause for concern. Minor bleeding can occur after flossing, which isn’t out of the ordinary. However, the problem starts when the bleeding becomes chronic and severe, especially when accompanied by aches in the gums.
When this happens, see your dentist for periodontal treatment right away. These may be early signs of gum disease; at this stage, your dentist can treat your gums in the office. Make seeing the dentist a priority to address the problem early and avoid complications.
- Swollen Jaws
Swelling is usually an indicator of a serious infection, especially when it occurs with other symptoms. Pay special attention if it hurts to chew or open your mouth, or if the swelling is accompanied by a bad taste in your mouth.
To subdue the swelling, use a cold compress to bring down the inflammation on your way to the dentist. Swelling can have several potential causes, so visit your dentist right away to get the appropriate dental emergency treatment. While you’re at it, drink plenty of water as well to keep yourself hydrated before you see the dentist.
- Pain When Chewing
There can be several causes behind feeling pain when you chew, but they all deserve your attention. Different types of pain can help your dentist narrow down the root cause and make it easier to give you relief. For example, if you feel a sharp, stinging pain when you eat hot or cold food, there may be some enamel wear making your teeth more sensitive to temperature. Whatever the reason, see your dentist immediately so you can chew comfortably again and repair the damage before it gets worse.
- Persistent Bad Breath
Chronic bad breath can be embarrassing, but it can also point to serious health issues, especially if you’ve been dealing with it for a while. Bad breath can have different causes, but it can also indicate serious diseases like gum disease and tooth decay.
To get to the root of the problem, visit your dentist immediately. Once you know what’s causing the foul breath, you can take steps to treat it. If there is a serious disease causing it, it’s also a chance to head it off early before it has time to cause more serious damage.
- Constant Headaches
In some cases, headaches can be caused by problems in related parts of the body, like issues in the neck or jaw. Since the jaw and head are connected, problems with the jaw can manifest as chronic headaches. Pay attention if you’ve had unexplained headaches for some time. There may be an oral infection behind the pain, or you may be grinding your teeth whether unconsciously or in your sleep.
Visit your dentist to get a checkup to shed some more light on what might be behind your recurring headaches.
- Strange Tastes
A persistent bad taste in your mouth can indicate potential problems, some of which may be due to infection like gingivitis. The taste can also be an indicator that your wisdom teeth are emerging, which is another reason to visit your dentist right away.
If you have metal fillings, a metal taste in your mouth can mean the filling has come loose. parcofontario.com/isit the dentist immediately to get the filling replaced. The sooner you get a replacement filling, the sooner you can secure your tooth and prevent infections from developing.
- Texture Changes in the Tongue
Your tongue is a sensitive organ, so you’ll notice any changes right away. Keep an eye out for sores, lumps, or changes in texture. The tongue generally keeps the same appearance, and any changes are generally indicative of a problem. The tongue is a common site for cancer to develop, making it something dentists pay particular attention to.
What to Do in Case of Emergency
One thing common to all types of dental emergencies is that it’s best to take action right away. Quick action is key to minimizing damage and preserving your teeth and gums. Here’s a list of some actions you can take to address the problem before receiving emergency dentistry.
- Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in hot water and gargle the mixture to soothe irritation and reduce swelling.
- In case of a knocked-out tooth, clean it and put it in a container of milk until you get to the dentist.
- Use over-the-counter pain medication to help handle pain on the way to the dentist.
- If you’re experiencing pain around one specific tooth, try flossing first. There may be some food material stuck between the teeth or inside the gum.
Above all, remain calm. A cool head is vital to taking control of the situation and responding appropriately. Keep these insights in mind to help you remember what to do in case of the worst.
When you need an emergency dentist, Dr. Mark Rhody Dentistry is here to help. We offer a calm, inviting atmosphere to help you stay calm before and during your appointments. Our dental emergency clinic also offers services for the whole family, giving you a one-stop dentist for all your needs. Call us now at (416) 231-4281 to make an appointment.