Dental Emergency 101: What Are the Signs and What to Do

August 2, 2021

Dental emergencies are to be taken seriously because ignoring the symptoms can lead to other complications. If you have pain, gum bleeding, swelling, or other unusual dental symptoms, you need to visit an emergency dentist near you. Addressing the toothache on time can treat the underlying condition and prevent further damage.

A dental emergency is a bruising or injury of the teeth, gum, and surrounding soft tissues. The injuries can cause pain, bleeding, and swelling. Some of the accidents, though important, may not require urgent care. Understanding the difference between urgent and non-urgent emergencies is important as it can save you time and money. Here is what to look for to know when to get urgent dental care services.

1. Red, Bleeding, and Inflamed Gums

Gum bleeding is an early sign of gum disease and it needs to be addressed on time. Sometimes when you brush aggressively with a hard-bristled toothbrush it can cause the gum to bleed slightly (it clears after rinsing). However, if you have persistent bleeding, especially after flossing, you may have gum disease. Other symptoms that you may look out for include swelling, tender, bright red, and receding gums (mostly happens in advanced gum disease).

2. Loose and Knocked-out Teeth

Loose teeth are normal for children, but not adults. If you notice that your teeth are wiggly and shifting in your socket, it could indicate a serious problem. A direct blow to the mouth or accident is the primary cause of loose teeth.

Infection and decay can affect the teeth, gum tissue, and ligaments. The damaging of the supporting structures can cause the teeth to come loose.

Osteoporosis (loss of bone) can also cause loose teeth in older people. It is important to visit a dentist for assessment, whether the loosening of the teeth is caused by infection, trauma, or bone loss. Losing your permanent teeth can be detrimental to your oral health because it affects the supporting bone.

3. Pus Accumulated in Your Gums

Pus buildup in the gums is a sign of an infection, and leaving it untreated can cause the infection to spread to the surrounding tissue and bloodstream. A dental abscess cannot clear without treatment and that is why you need to visit the dentist immediately. He will assess the gums and recommend suitable treatment such as antibiotics and at times surgery.

4. Swollen Jaw

When the bacterial infection spreads to the jaw, it can block the salivary glands. This will affect saliva production and cause it to accumulate, leading to jaw swelling. The low production of saliva will impair your dental health as it will not clear the food particles properly.

5. Severe Toothache

Tooth pain occurs in different degrees and can range from mild to severe. Mild dental pain can be handled at home with remedies. However, if you have severe and persistent pain, it could be a sign of decay and trauma, and needs urgent treatment.

What About Broken Restorations?

Broken restorations can be an emergency if they cause pain and tooth sensitivity. When your braces break, the wires can injure the soft tissues in the gums. But, not all restorations need a trip to an emergency dentist. For example, broken dental bonding can wait for the next appointment.

What to Do When an Accident Occurs?

What you do after an accident occurs will determine how successful the treatment will be. Performing first aid on the teeth can help and here are a few tips:

  • Rinse your mouth to get rid of debris and germs
  • Control gum bleeding by biting gauze pad or tea bag
  • Reduce swelling with ice packs
  • Visit the dentist within an hour of the accident as this increases the chances of the dentist saving your teeth.
  • If the teeth are knocked out, do not try pulling them but rather take the necessary steps to preserve them.

Take Action

Do not ignore an emergency dental situation as it could lead to other complications. Visit Scripps Poway Dental Care for immediate treatment when a dental accident occurs.

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