You may not be sure if you or your loved one has a dental emergency or something that can wait. Some pain can be mediated for a while with an over-the-counter medication until an appointment can be confirmed. But there are telltale signs that you may need more immediate attention.
Signs to Look for
- A persistent toothache that nags and is only partially relieved with medication may be an indication that there is something more serious going on.
- Tooth loss or loose teeth, whether from an accident or incidentally due to health, is cause for concern.
- Severe pain and/or bleeding is an obvious sign.
- Bleeding from your gums or other signs of infection is a sign of a dental emergency.
Once you know you have a dental issue, evaluating whether it is an emergency that needs immediate attention or something that could possibly wait a business day may be hard to do unless you have lots of experience with dental emergencies.
Lost Your Filling?
This is also considered a dental trauma, so a visit is absolutely necessary. Setting a piece of sugarless gum where the filling was will reduce pain from the cavity exposure.
Lost Your Crown?
You should try to schedule an appointment as soon as you know of a lost crown. You can use clove oil or ice if you are experiencing pain in the meantime. If you can’t get with your regular dentist, you may want to venture out for an emergency dental appointment.
Knocked Out or Chipped Teeth
If you suffer a dental trauma that causes a chip or complete tooth knockout, visit an emergency dentist as soon as possible. Chipped teeth can be dangerous, especially if you are sleeping or not being extremely careful before seeing your dentist. If the tooth is completely knocked out, the socket and surrounding area should be kept clean. A cup of milk will help extend the life of your tooth for replacement.
Toothaches Without Cause
If you are experiencing toothaches for unknown reasons and the pain does not dissipate it could be a developing cavity or possibly a gum infection—time to schedule a visit.
When you floss it is typical for many of us to have some bleeding from our gums. But if you are bleeding regularly and accompanied by pain or discomfort, you need to visit your dentist as soon as possible.
If you have braces with metal wires, there is a chance of breakage during an accident or from overwear and misuse. If the wires from your braces begin to break off and protrude, your cheek, gum line, and tongue could be affected, and if it begins creating cuts inside your mouth that could also lead to infection. This is dangerous and needs immediate attention.