Dental cleaning is a huge part of routine check-ups. The procedure involves using a scaler to scrape off tartar and plaque deposits from teeth surfaces. Plaque is the sticky film that builds up on teeth, and it hardens into tartar when left on teeth surfaces for a few days. Both make you more vulnerable to…
When To Seek Emergency Dental Care
Pain is a pretty good indicator that you need emergency dental care. Especially when it becomes so constant and intense that you can barely focus on anything else. Along with pain, there are other symptoms that also warrant emergency dental treatment. Here is what you need to know about dental emergencies.
What is a dental emergency and how does a dentist handle it?
A dental emergency is any oral or dental problem that affects the minute-to-minute aspects of a person’s life. It can keep the affected individual from sleeping, eating, talking or even thinking. A dental emergency can be the result of an oral health issue that develops into an urgent, serious problem, or it can happen unexpectedly, such as in the case of an accidental blow to the mouth.
Emergency dentistry aims to treat untimely dental problems in the shortest amount of time. Where possible, an emergency dentist will treat a patient, and that is the end of it. Sometimes, however, the dentist offers temporary treatment for immediate relief. The patient then gets a referral for further treatment from a specialist, such as a periodontist or an orthodontist.
Other times, an emergency dentist may refer an individual suffering from a serious injury to a medical doctor. A dentist will take this route when injuries include soft tissue damage and likely injury to the jaw.
How does a person identify a dental emergency?
There are a variety of ways that a person may identify the need for emergency dental care. Here are the three most common.
A throbbing, persistent toothache can be debilitating. It seems to take on a life of its own, with the sole mission of driving a person insane. Pain that keeps a person awake at night or prevents them from going about their day is a dental emergency. Pain that does not respond to painkillers is also a dental emergency.
This discomfort is the body’s way of crying out for help and asking for an emergency dentist. More often than not, dental pain comes with other symptoms as well.
2. Signs of infection
A large percentage of dental problems are the result of mouth bacteria that attack the teeth and gums. Left unchecked, bacteria breach the enamel to cause cavities, which develop into full-on tooth decay. Sometimes, harmful bacteria find their way into the dental pulp, where they attack the soft tissues of the teeth. When things ultimately come to a head, a person will observe one or more of the following symptoms:
- A pimple on the gums that seems to be filled with pus
- Pressure and throbbing within the tooth
- A discharge of pus
- Swelling at the site of the problem tooth
- High temperature, chills and other symptoms of fever
As mentioned earlier, these symptoms also usually come with lots of pain. Infections can be life-threatening and even fatal, and they qualify as dental emergencies.
A blow to the mouth is often unforeseen. It can turn into a dental emergency, depending on its severity. In the case of trauma to the mouth, be on the lookout for the following signs:
- Excessive bleeding
- Fractured or broken teeth that hurt badly
- A knocked-out tooth
- Soft tissue damage
- A painful, swollen jaw
Choose caution by having an emergency dentist in your contacts list
A dental emergency needs timely treatment from an emergency dentist before it turns into an even more serious medical condition. That is why you should know where to find emergency dental care at a moment’s notice.
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