Imagine for a second that you were out at a party. There are drinks, food, people chatting, and kids running around. All of a sudden you hear a child crying and you start to recognize the cause was a fall that resulted in a knocked out tooth. The injury looks pretty bad, but could it be an emergency? It could be!
Like any other part of the body, your mouth can be the site of an emergency. These injuries that amount to needing emergency intervention are varied and can sometimes be confusing. Emergency dentistry is a common service offered that will keep you from retaining lasting damage from injuries ranging from urgent care tooth pain to other more serious mouth injuries.
But, what exactly counts as an emergency.
Some Good Indicators of an Emergency
From an early age, humans instinctively know that when pain is present, something is probably not right. This is a good rule for dentistry in general. Sometimes the pain is really mild and you can wait for that upcoming appointment. Other times, however the pain ticks up with intensity and can evolve into an excruciating situation.
Another important indicator is bleeding. Here, we are not talking about a little bleeding when you floss. An emergency amount of blood will alarm you and often be accompanied by pain or a recent accident to the mouth. And, if the bleeding is constant, that is a clue too.
There are some other indicators that are more obvious of an emergency. These include tooth problems. If you just lost a tooth as the result of physical trauma, that is probably an emergency. If your teeth are very loose, that could also be evidence of an emergency.
One more indicator of emergency dental problems could be symptoms associated with an infection. These are more indicative of an emergency if they are not able to heal within a few days or if they progress rapidly.
Just as a quick note about what does not count as an emergency. If you happen to break a tooth and it is not causing any pain, that might not be an emergency. If your gums started to bleed but have since stopped for a few days, you might not be experiencing an emergency. Looking out for pain, severe bleeding, and rapid swelling is a good way to determine whether a situation is an emergency.
Common Dental Emergencies
We have already hinted at some dental emergencies but let’s be more specific.
Toothaches are a common problem that can evolve into an emergency, especially if they are accompanied by severe pain. You may also find yourself with an emergency on your hands if your gums unexpectedly become painful and swollen. These symptoms combined could indicate an abscessed tooth which might require an emergency tooth extraction.
Nerve damage is also a form of a dental emergency. Exposed nerves are usually accompanied by sharp pains sometimes when eating or drinking. This is sometimes a sign that your tooth health is in decline and should be treated as an emergency.
One more type of dental emergency has to do with problems with tooth repairs. If you find that you have lost a filling or that a crown has fallen away, you should seek emergency help. A failed tooth repair leaves your teeth vulnerable which can accelerate decay and cause pain or further tooth loss.
What to do when a Dental Emergency Occurs
If you are experiencing what you feel is a dental emergency, the first step is to contact your dentist. Many dentists offer emergency services and will get you into the office soon depending on the severity of the dental problem.
Urgent care for teeth is not much different than regular care, it just occurs faster because the stakes tend to be higher for tooth loss and other problems. A good dentist will assess your situation as soon as possible and determine the best course of action.
Devaney Dental is a great stop if you are experiencing any type of dental emergency. We have many years of experience treating patients in emergency situations and we are able to develop a quick and personalized treatment plan. With emergency care at our office, you can expect to have any pain alleviated quickly and any damage assessed for treatment.