Are you dealing with a dental health crisis?

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), there are 2 million visits to hospital emergency departments in the United States for dental pain every year. Depending on the situation, these emergencies might require immediate action.

So how do you know if you are faced with a dental emergency?

Dental emergencies aren’t limited to someone suffering from a toothache. Other situations may require immediate attention.

Keep reading to learn more about common dental emergencies and what to do if you experience one.

1. When Feeling Severe Pain

Severe pain is a sign of a dental emergency. If you are experiencing acute pain in your teeth, gums, or jaw, you must get immediate medical aid.

If you are feeling sharp and shooting pain when touching the affected area, that is also a sign of a dental emergency. If the discomfort is accompanied by fever, edema, or trouble opening the mouth, it might be a symptom of a more serious problem. 

If the pain does not subside after taking ibuprofen, it is important to see an emergency dentist. Discomfort and pain that worsens over time can be a warning sign that you should not ignore.

Any changes to the color of your gums or tooth tissue also warrant an urgent appointment. Seek out a local family dentist linked here for dental services if any of these signs of a dental emergency are present.

2. Unexpected Swelling in The Mouth

Unexpected swelling in the mouth can be a sign that you are dealing with a dental emergency. If the swelling comes with severe pain, it may be a sign that you have an abscess or an infection.

Other signs may include red or swollen gums, fever, or increased sensitivity in the area. In some cases, the swelling may be severe enough to impact breathing or speaking.

In this case, it is important to seek immediate medical care. If a foreign object or tooth has become lodged in the mouth, this can result in swelling and needs dental care.

If you are unable to seek medical attention, you should rinse your mouth with a warm saltwater solution to minimize swelling and discomfort. If the swelling persists, you should contact your dentist.

3. Bleeding That Won’t Stop

When it comes to dealing with a dental emergency, one of the most commonly reported signs is bleeding that won’t stop. If you are dealing with this type of emergency, then it is very important to seek immediate medical attention.

There are the most common causes of bleeding gums. These include periodontal disease, trauma to the teeth or gums, or even a foreign object in the mouth.

Even if the bleeding has stopped, it is important to get it checked out. If it is due to periodontal disease, for example, it can worsen if left untreated.

In such cases, your dentist may need to provide you with antibiotics or some other type of treatment. Do not try to treat bleeding that won’t stop as it can be dangerous if not handled properly by a professional.

4. Loss of a Tooth Without Injury

If you experience a sudden loss of a tooth due to any cause other than injury, you may be dealing with a dental emergency.  If the tooth falls out and you can retrieve it, rinse it off but do not clean it or try to reinsert it.

Additionally, if you are bleeding, apply warm moistened gauze for several minutes to aid with clotting. Seek medical attention from your dentist, as a missing tooth can increase the risk of other dental issues.

If attended immediately, your dentist may be able to reimplant the tooth. They may also provide other solutions to protect your oral health.

Losing a tooth without injury can be considered a dental emergency. Though it may seem like a relatively small problem, it is important to get a dentist involved as soon as possible.

5. A Toothache That Keeps You Up at Night

A toothache that keeps you up at night is a sign of a dental emergency. The pain and discomfort associated with a toothache can range from mild to severe.

If it keeps waking you up, it may be a sign of an infection or abscess affecting the underlying root of the tooth. You should look out for swelling of the face near the affected area, and pus coming from the area near the tooth.

You may also have a bitter taste in your mouth, fever, and sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures when you eat. Prompt action can prevent the infection from spreading and save your tooth.

6. Pressure in the Jaw, Mouth, or Teeth

If you’re experiencing pressure in your jaw, mouth, or teeth, it could be a sign of a dental emergency. In some cases, this pressure is caused by an infection or abscess in the tooth or gums.

This type of infection or abscess can cause swelling, pain, and potential damage to the surrounding teeth and bones. Feeling pressure in the jaw, mouth, or teeth can be symptomatic of a cracked or broken tooth.

7. Fracture and Dislocation of the Jaw

A fracture or dislocation of the jaw is a dental emergency that should receive prompt medical attention. Potential signs to look out for include a misaligned jaw, swelling, and significant pain in the jaw and neck area.

You may feel numbness in the face, trouble fully opening and/or closing one’s mouth, drooling, and tenderness in the jaw. This further includes difficulty breathing, loss of teeth, visible lumps, or bruising.

A severe jaw injury can lead to further dental problems and even long-term complications if not treated timely. Your dental professional can assess the damage and give you the necessary treatment and follow-up care.

8. Chipped or Broken Teeth

A chipped or broken tooth is a dental emergency. Common symptoms of a dental emergency include tooth discomfort, a cracked or chipped tooth, and damage to a portion of a tooth.

If you experience any of these signs, you should immediately contact your dentist to seek treatment. Preventing or treating a dental emergency promptly can help keep your smile healthy.

9. Damaged Fillings or Crowns

A damaged filling or crown is a sign of a dental emergency. Broken or chipped fillings can cause tooth sensitivity and infection.

A lost crown requires urgent attention to reduce the risk of further damage. You may experience severe pain or oral bleeding that doesn’t stop, which indicates a potential root canal or other treatment.

You may feel excessive discomfort when you bite down if a piece of the filling or crown is visible. You may also notice that the tooth may appear darker than the others.

10. Injury to the Mouth

If you suffer an injury to your mouth, it could be a sign of a dental emergency. If your mouth is bleeding heavily if several teeth have been forced out of the mouth.

If you’re experiencing trouble breathing, it’s an indication that you have a dental emergency and should see a dentist right away. If you have bruised, cut, or knocked out the tongue, it is a sign of an emergency.

Depending on the severity of the injury, you might also have trouble breathing, speaking, or chewing. If you experience any of these signs, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.

11. Severe Dental Trauma

Severe dental trauma can be a sign of a dental emergency. Keep an eye out for symptoms such as severe facial edema.

Prolonged bleeding after a dental procedure, or an open cut or wound in the mouth. You may also experience excessive discomfort, either localized (in one location) or extending across the jaw.

This might potentially show a potential emergency. Numbness or lack of feeling in the mouth or lips could be a sign of trauma to the nerves.

12. Visible Abscess

A visible abscess is a warning sign of a dental emergency. A painful, visible bump in the gum, often filled with puss, indicates that an infection has formed.

Potentially involving the tooth’s root and surrounding tissue. If left untreated, it can spread to other parts of the mouth and even the body, leading to a life-threatening illness.

13. Extreme Tooth Sensitivity

Extreme tooth sensitivity can be a sign of a dental emergency. You may have a dental emergency if you experience severe pain or suffering after consuming cold, hot, or sweet foods and beverages.

Tooth sensitivity can be caused by exposed dentin, a fracture or chip in the tooth, or a cavity caused by tooth decay. Over-the-counter toothpaste for sensitive teeth may help relieve some of the pain in the short term.

Recognize the Signs of Dental Emergency

A dental emergency can be a scary and painful experience. To minimize additional damage, get immediate medical aid if you are suffering severe oral discomfort or trauma.

Seeing a qualified dentist can help assess your treatment options and restore your dental health quickly. Don’t wait – contact your dentist now to get the relief you deserve.

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