Preventing Tooth Decay To Maintain Healthy Teeth

When Are Emergency Dental Appointments Needed?

Some mouth injuries are a nuisance, but can ultimately wait until your dentist is back at work in the morning, while others require immediate attention. How do you know if your issue is a true emergency? Ask yourself these questions:

Is There Pain?

Pain is your body's signal that something isn't right. Many people have sensitive teeth that hurt if exposed to extreme temperatures, but the kind of pain that signals an emergency is different. If what started as sensitivity begins to linger longer and longer and increase in intensity, you should seek emergency care, as it could be the sign of a danger abscess or even heart disease. Got a chronic headache? It could actually be caused by an issue with your teeth because the nerves of your head and mouth are connected. A broken filling is one thing that can also cause a lot of pain because they expose sensitive parts of the tooth that are normally protected. If it causes you a lot of pain, it's worth taking emergency measures or calling around to see which dentist can get you in the quickest. 

Is Your Tooth Loose?

Little kids are used to wiggly teeth, but there's no medical reason why an adult's teeth should be loose. A loose tooth is a pretty good indicator that something is very wrong. Combined with bleeding gums, a loose tooth could indicate severe gum disease, which can actually lead to a heart attack. If your tooth falls out, you need to get to the emergency dentist. Make sure that it is clean and store it in an airtight container of milk or your own saliva.  

Any Weird Tastes?

It's not normal for people to have a metallic taste in their mouth, so if you do, this is a reason to get to a dentist. A metallic taste could be indicative of a cracked or loose filling. Not having this issue corrected could lead to the need for a root canal-- not something anybody wants to go through.

Is There Numbness?

If you've been dealing with tooth pain and it stops all of the sudden, you may just assume that the issue has taken care of itself. Actually, if your chronic pain suddenly stops, you should be very concerned. It might mean that an abscess in your mouth has grown so large it is blocking a nerve. This is a sign that you may need a root canal.

Think you might have an emergency? Call your dentist. If they are open, many dentists leave openings in their schedule for patients with emergencies. Even if you think your dentist is closed, you should still call because they might offer instructions on what to do in the case of an emergency.  

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