Most people know the fundamentals of what to do, or at least who to call, in an emergency. But what about a dental emergency? It’s important to know the signs of a dental emergency so you can respond appropriately. Recognizing that there is a problem and acting quickly may save you from unnecessary pain, further damage, and increased expenses in the long run.
1. A Loose Permanent Tooth
If you’re six years old and excited about the tooth fairy coming, that’s one thing. But if you’re an adult and have a loose permanent tooth, call your dentist immediately. A partially dislodged tooth may be a sign of more serious concerns like gum disease, an injury, or teeth grinding – all of which should be addressed by a professional.
2. Bleeding Gums
If your gums are bleeding, it’s time to see a dentist. Bleeding gums can be a sign of infection, gum disease, certain types of cancer, and more. You will likely know the difference between a little blood from brushing too hard and bleeding as an indicator of a more serious problem. The best way to determine the root cause and treatment needed is by seeing a dentist familiar with how to handle dental emergencies.
3. Jaw Pain, Popping, or Clicking
Temporomandibular joint disorder (commonly referred to as TMJ) can cause jaw pain, often accompanied by popping and clicking at the joint. It’s important to alert your dentist as soon as possible in order to develop a treatment plan and avoid further damage to the joint. Jaw pain can also serve as an indicator of other health issues, such as an oncoming heart attack. It’s better to be safe than sorry – call your dentist if you’re experiencing jaw pain.
A mild toothache can quickly turn into searing pain – if it does, you’re experiencing a dental emergency and should call for an appointment immediately. An abscess can manifest in a variety of ways, including severe tooth pain, swelling, fever, and bleeding gums. If left untreated, infection from a dental abscess can spread to the jawbone through the pulp within the roots of the tooth.
5. Open Wounds
Open wounds that do not heal could be a sign of a serious problem requiring medical attention. Call your dentist right away if you notice a persistent wound that does not seem to improve over time, as it may indicate other issues such as a viral infection or certain types of cancer.
It’s important to keep an eye out for signs you might be having a dental emergency. Don’t wait until it’s too late to call your dentist - early detection and a proactive treatment plan will positively impact not only your oral health and comfort, but your overall health as well. If you experience a dental emergency in the Coralville, IA area, call Coral West Dental right away for efficient and effective professional help.