Is It Really A Dental Emergency

Medically Reviewed By
Jonathan G. Campbell, DDS, FAGD
One of the top rated Dentist in Salt Lake City, UT
A young bright lady with tooth pain

Most of the time, dental services can be scheduled during a regular appointment, but sometimes dental emergencies come up which require immediate attention. So, how do you know when you need emergency dental care or an emergency extraction? In this article, we'll explain what constitutes a dental emergency and should be treated immediately.

What is a dental emergency?

A dental emergency, much like a medical emergency, is a situation that requires immediate attention. A dental emergency may result in immediate or long-term dangers to your health, or it may just make it difficult or impossible for you to continue with your day-to-day activities. You may experience a lot of pain/discomfort, bleeding, and may even have difficulty eating or sleeping.

In some cases, there may be an infection, which may spread to other areas of your head and face if not treated immediately. If the infection spreads to your brain, it could be deadly. Therefore, if you have an infection, it's definitely considered an emergency and needs to be addressed immediately- even if you need to visit the emergency room at your local hospital. Though that should always be the last resort.

What are emergency dental services?

There are several types of emergency dental services that can help in the event of a dental emergency. Emergency dental services are a lot like emergency medical services and can help protect your overall health and alleviate pain.

Emergency dental services may include restoration if you have a damaged tooth or extraction and antibiotics if you have an infection. If you have a laceration on your gums, tongue, cheek, or another part of your mouth, you may need stitches and antibiotics. In such case you should seek to a experienced emergency dentist

Now, let's take a look at a few dental situations that may constitute a dental emergency.

When you would need a emergency dentist?

There are multiple scenarios that may benefit from the attention of an emergency dentist. Following are 9 situations that may require emergency dental treatment.

1. Sudden Impact
2. Loose/Damaged Fillings
3. Loose/Damaged Crowns
4. Oral Bleeding
5. Gum/Tooth Discoloration
6. Tooth Pain
7. Persistent Bad Breath/Taste
8. Post-Op Dental Issues

If you are experiencing pain or bleeding or you feel like you might have an infection or you have a cracked/damaged tooth, contact  a experienced emergency dentist to discuss your needs. They will be able to tell you if you need emergency dental treatment or not.

Sudden Impact

Accidents that cause sudden, intense impacts to your teeth, gums, and jaw may result in a dental emergency. In some cases, the impact isn't serious, and you may not have any damage at all. However, if you continue to experience hurting teeth, sore gums, or aching jaw that isn't getting better after the hit., or the pain/bruising gets worse, it's a good idea to seek emergency dental services.

You may have a cracked or loose tooth, bleeding under the gums, or the impact may have spawned an infection. In these cases, you may need an emergency extraction, antibiotics, pain medications, or something else. You can also go to the cosmetic dentist for improvement of your tooth beauty.

Loose/Damaged Fillings

If you have a loose filling or you noticed that some or all of it has come off the tooth, this is considered a dental emergency. A filling is designed to offer your tooth protection after being damaged by a cavity. If this protection becomes loose or missing, the sensitive structures under the enamel of your tooth are exposed to bacteria. In order to avoid further damage or infection, you'll want to access emergency dental services as soon as possible.

Loose/Damaged Crowns

A dental crown is designed to restore your tooth in the case of damage. While they are made to be sturdy and securely attached, they may become loose/damaged if the tooth underneath is damaged. This can be caused by biting down on something hard or getting hit in the face.

If you have a crown that is loose/damaged, it can expose the tooth underneath, as well as neighboring teeth, to further bacterial damage. If you have a loose/damaged crown, make an emergency appointment.

Oral Bleeding

When you bite your tongue or cheek, you typically see a little bit of blood. This is perfectly normal. On the other hand, if you have a situation where your gums are bleeding, you have sores in your mouth that are bleeding, or you have a lot of blood coming from your mouth, you need to see an emergency dentist right away. This could be caused by a lot of reasons- some are dangerous to your overall health.

Gum/Tooth Discoloration

If you have a tooth that is discolored or the gums around the tooth are discolored, it's an indication that the tooth is dead or infected. Both are serious issues that need to be treated immediately. You may notice the tooth is black, brown, or yellow and the gums around it are black, brown, or dark red. On a normal basis, your teeth should be whitish and gums should be pink. If you do have discoloration, you might want to get an general dentist appointment. But if you have an upcoming wedding or important meeting, you might need emergency dental services to get your teeth bright before the important moment.

Tooth Pain

A mild toothache may have a temporary, non-threatening cause and may even clear up on its own. Some issues that may cause a mild toothache include brushing too hard, mild impact to the face, teeth grinding, or a sinus infection. However, if your tooth pain is severe enough to be distracting, keeps you from sleeping, or gets worse over time, there may be something more serious going on. You will need emergency dental services to determine what is happening and get the appropriate treatment before it becomes worse.

Persistent Bad Breath/Taste

Everyone gets a bad taste in their mouth from time to time, especially from foods we don't' care for. Also, there are certain foods that cause bad breath. However, if you have bad breath or a foul taste that won't go away, you could have an infection or other health issue that needs to be addressed. If you've had this going on for several days and you also have tooth pain and/or discoloration, you'll want to get emergency dental treatment. Dentist at salt lake city have experience and will help you with all your problem. 

Post-Op Dental Issues

If you are experiencing dental pain or other discomfort, you might want to immediately want to seek the immediate assistance of dentist. This might save you from further complications and further pain.

If you've recently had a dental procedure, such as a filling, root canal, tooth extraction, or anything else, pay attention to how you are feeling. If you are still having pain or the pain gets worse, you have excessive bleeding and/or abnormal swelling, or anything else that seems out of the ordinary, it's worth seeking emergency dental treatment. Be sure that you pay attention to your dentist's post-op instructions and what to look for after the procedure so you know if you need to seek treatment.

There are many dental issues that come up that can be treated at home until you can get in to see the dentist at a regular appointment. However, there are some issues that come up that warrant an emergency visit to the dentist. If you experience any of the above, these are definitely emergencies. Of course, this is not a full list of every possible dental emergency, just some of the most common. If you're having an issue and you're not sure if it's an emergency, call your dentist and they can advise you on whether you need to come in immediately or if it can wait a few days.

Legacy Dental blog is proudly run by our Salt Lake City dentists team; We share knowledge about general dental care and practices. Apart from running this blog, we offer various dental services such as general dentistry, emergency dentistry, and dental implants for the community in Salt Lake City, Utah

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