Do you know what constitutes a dental emergency? Unless you know the signs, you may forgo the urgent care you desperately need. Learn four signs of true dental emergencies and keep your smile looking great for years to come.
1. Broken or lost tooth
When you break or lose a tooth, your nerve endings get exposed to temperature variances and oxygen. This can cause irreparable damage to your root structure, which can mean your tooth may be unable to be replaced or repaired. If you've broken or lost a tooth, see a dentist, like Rose City Dental Care, ASAP so you can have the best chance of preserving your natural teeth. While waiting to see the dentist, try to place your tooth back in its socket, or place it in a glass of milk to help preserve the tender tissues.
2. Abscessed tooth
When you have an abscessed tooth, the pain can be severe. The infection is what you should worry about, though. An infected or abscessed tooth can release dangerous bacteria into your saliva or bloodstream, which can lead to ear, sinus, or respiratory infections. Don't ignore the pain or try to treat it on your own, see an emergency dentist to take care of the offending tooth as soon as you can.
3. Ongoing pain in your jaw
If your lower jaw aches, you may grind your teeth or have TMJ. You may want to try a mouthguard for a week to see if that mitagates the pain. If you can't find any reason why you have headaches or why your jaw hurts, visit your dentist immediately so you can rule out infection, cracked teeth, or grinding in your teeth. Ignoring jaw pain not only leads to ongoing discomfort, but it can put your oral health at risk.
4. Swollen or bleeding gums
Gums only bleed or swell when they are irritated, and this irritation usually has some kind of infection or tooth decay at its cause. If your gums are swollen or release a bitter taste when pressed upon, you may have a common gum disease called gingivitis. Bleeding gums can be caused by many things, such as receding gums, a toothbrush that is too hard, or even poor oral hygiene.
When you know the signs of needing dental care as soon as possible, you can better care for your smile. If you notice any of these symptoms in your own mouth, contact your dentist right away and set up an appointment, so you can get back on track to a healthy smile.