Many dental problems don’t make themselves known to you until it’s too late. At that point, you should go to your dentist immediately.
But that might prove to be a challenge if you have pain when your dentist office is closed — perhaps the pain strikes in the middle of the night or on a holiday.
At that point, if you believe if it’s a dental emergency, an emergency dentist will be your best option.
But how do you know if what you’re dealing with is a minor nuisance that can wait a day, or if it’s an emergency that needs to be treated now?
Read on to learn more.
Signs of a Dental Emergency
As mentioned, you often can’t spot dental emergencies (on your own, your dentist can) until it’s too late.
However, that doesn’t mean that every minor pain is a possible emergency. Look for the following signs to determine if your situation is truly not good.
- Severe pain or bleeding: If your mouth or teeth are bleeding or in severe pain, you almost certainly have a dental emergency.
- Loose teeth: Adults don’t lose teeth. If you have teeth that feel loose, that’s a problem.
- Lost teeth: Whether from trauma (such as getting hit in the face) or untreated loose teeth, lost teeth are a real emergency that needs to be handled.
- Infection/abscessed tooth: Signs of an infection in your mouth include knots or swelling on your gums, as well as facial swelling.
So in short, if you have any bleeding, loose or lost teeth, or infections, you should get to a dentist right away.
What Could Escalate Into a Dental Emergency?
There are some issues that aren’t threatening right away, but when left untreated, could become serious. Here are some examples.
- Cracked/chipped tooth: A minor chip or crack likely isn’t an emergency unless it causes severe pain. It can wait a day or two. However, you need to treat it sooner rather than later — left untreated, a chipped tooth can collect bacteria and/or lead to nerve damage.
- Minor pain/bleeding from gums after brushing teeth: If your gums are sensitive to flossing and brushing, and they bleed a little bit, it’s not a substantial threat at first. But if you don’t get things cleaned up, such gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. Periodontitis can irreversibly damage the fiber and bone holding your teeth in place.
- Losing a crown or filling: Losing a crown or filling isn’t the end of the world. You can either use over-the-counter dental adhesive to put it back in place temporarily, but make sure you get into your dentist within a few days to get things fixed.
Do you have any of the above signs of a dental emergency? Do you have a dental issue that you need to be fixed right away before it gets bad? Our professionals are here to help you out. Contact Absolute Smile today so we can keep your mouth in good shape!