Dental issues can pop up seemingly overnight, but how do you know when a dental condition is an emergency? In some cases, delaying dental care — even by a few hours — can mean the difference between keeping a tooth and losing a tooth.
Mehrnoosh Darj, DDS, and her experienced team at Dr. Darj Dental in El Paso, Texas, offer dental urgent care so you can get the treatment you need when you need it most. Not sure which dental problems are emergencies and which ones can wait? In this blog, we cover the five signs that you need dental care quickly.
1. Your tooth is broken
Cracked teeth and completely knocked-out teeth both cause immense pain. Seeking urgent dental care can help you find relief from the pain, but swift dental care can also increase the odds of saving your natural tooth.
If your tooth is knocked out, keep it moist. You can do that by replacing it in the socket if possible, holding it in your mouth next to your cheek, storing it in a glass of milk, or using a tooth preservation kit from a first aid kit. Avoid touching the roots of the tooth. Following these steps increases the chances of saving your tooth.
2. You have a bad toothache
Toothaches can range in severity from a mild nagging pain to severe throbbing. Cavities, infections, and abscesses can cause toothaches — and all of these require treatment. But how do you know when your toothache calls for emergency dental treatment? Seek dental care right away if:
- The pain is severe
- Pain affects your ability to eat or speak
- You have tooth sensitivity
- There is swelling on your face or mouth
While you wait for your appointment, you might try to alleviate pain by swishing salt water, taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medication, and using cold compresses.
3. Something is stuck in your teeth
If you or your child get something stuck in your teeth or under your gum, it’s tempting to try and pry it out. Never try to use something sharp (such as a fork); this can damage your gums and cause more problems. Instead, try to gently floss the area in an attempt to remove the stuck object. If flossing doesn’t help, call Dr. Darj Dental.
4. You see a bump on your gums
If you see a bump on your gums, it could be a sign of an abscess. Abscesses are pockets of pus, and they’re caused by bacterial infections. Treatment may require draining the abscess, a round of antibiotics, and possibly a root canal depending on where the infection is.
5. You have a fever
Many conditions can cause fevers, but if you have a fever in addition to other oral symptoms — such as tooth pain or facial swelling — it could be an indicator of an oral infection. Because infections can spread quickly, it’s important to seek dental care as soon as possible.
Do you need immediate dental care?
If you or your child are experiencing pain, discomfort, or unusual changes in your teeth or gums, don’t postpone getting dental care. Prompt treatment is important for your oral health and can potentially prevent tooth loss or additional complications of untreated infections.
We know emergencies arise unexpectedly, and that’s why we reserve space in our schedule for dental emergencies. Although you can always reach us through our online portal, if you’re having a dental emergency, give us a call at 915-213-4097.