Do You Need Emergency Dental Care?
by Dr. Beau Beecher, DDS on 11/27/2019
Accidents happen, even when it comes to the health of your teeth and gums. It is important to know what constitutes a “dental emergency” and how to determine whether or not an injury to your teeth or gums requires immediate medical attention or can wait another day.
What is a dental emergency?
Dental emergencies are trauma to the mouth that require immediate medical attention. That trauma can mean cracked, chipped, broken, or dislodged teeth, or even bleeding and lacerations to the gums. Common causes range from simply biting down on a hard piece of food to suffering an injury while participating in a contact sport.
Signs and symptoms of a dental emergency
People will often ask, “How do I know if it’s a dental emergency?” Because differentiating between common aches and pains and a serious dental problem can be difficult.
If you are experiencing a toothache, the recommended next steps depend on the severity. Toothaches, in general, should warrant an appointment with your dentist, but if the pain continues to increase in severity, consider seeking emergency dental care.
Loose teeth, especially for an adult, can be another warning sign to heed. Loose teeth are often the result of a tooth injury, but they could be a symptom of infection, as well. Swelling of the jaw can also indicate a serious sign of infection. You’ll want to have an oral exam and x-rays to determine if that is the case. It is best not to leave anything like that untreated.
Bleeding, aching, and swelling gums, which are a common sign of gum disease, are worth a trip to the dentist, especially if the bleeding is excessive and recurring.
What to do in the event of a dental emergency
Once you have determined you are experiencing a dental emergency, call your dentist’s office, even if it is outside of normal business hours. They may have an automated response that provides an emergency phone number or instructions to follow in case of an emergency.
If no alternatives are provided by phone, consider going to the nearest emergency room. They can assess the injury and help determine whether you can wait until morning, when your dentist’s office is open, to schedule an emergency appointment.
If you believe you are in need of emergency dental care, contact your local Kimball & Beecher office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.