Top Signs You Need Emergency Dental Care

No matter how well you take care of your teeth, sometimes a dental emergency cannot be avoided. Knowing what should be classed as a dental emergency and what doesn’t can help to keep your mouth healthy, and in some cases even save your teeth. The following is a list of the most common signs that you might require emergency dental care.

Unexplained toothache  

If you experience a persistent or extremely painful toothache, you may require emergency dental care. This pain may extend to your jaw, neck, or ears, and lying down may even increase your discomfort. If the aching continues for an extended period of time or if it grows to become more painful over time, you should immediately contact an emergency dentist, as it can be a sign of gum disease, infection, or an abscessed tooth. Other symptoms can include a fever, tooth sensitivity as well as swelling of the mouth or face. Your dentist will be able to complete an exam and x-rays to determine the problem and develop a treatment plan for you. 

Bleeding gums 

It can be normal for gums to bleed after flossing your teeth, but it can also be a sign of gingivitis. More extreme or continuous bleeding, accompanied by pain or swelling could also be a sign of periodontal disease. Whilst both of these are forms of gum disease, gingivitis is a milder form, and detecting it early on can be very beneficial for your dental health since the disease can be reversed at this early stage. Should you find that your gums are bleeding or have any other reason to suspect that you have gum disease such as recession or infection of the gum tissue, you must make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. While it isn’t an emergency scenario, it also shouldn’t be ignored. If you have any other sort of persistent bleeding from the mouth, speak to your dentist to see if you need to go in for urgent treatment.

Broken teeth or tooth loss

If you have chipped a tooth but are experiencing no pain alongside it, then there is no need to call an emergency dentist. However, if you have broken or lost your tooth and are in pain because of it, you should seek care immediately. When you call your emergency dentist, ensure that you fully explain how the injury occurred so that they can more efficiently provide you with treatment. If your entire tooth is knocked out, your dentist may offer you advice to help it before you can get to the dental office. This way there is a higher chance that your dentist will be able to reinsert your lost tooth, although this isn’t guaranteed.

Jaw popping

You should consider seeking emergency dental care if you find that your jaw is locked or if you experience a popping sensation in your jaw. This along with pain when chewing, clicking, or grinding sounds when your jaw is open as well as limitation in the movement of your jaw can all be signs of TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder) which can cause pain and stiffness around your jaw. Although TMD tends to get better on its own, your dentist will be able to help you with symptoms and pain management in the meantime. 

Swollen mouth or jaw 

A swollen mouth or jaw can signify various dental issues, some of which are infection, swollen lymph nodes, or gum disease. In some very rare cases, it could also be a symptom of oral cancer. When seeking emergency dental care for swellings, ensure that you tell your dentist where and how long the swelling has been there for as well as show them any other signs of infection you may have noticed. Any information you can give to your dentist about your dental issues can be very beneficial in finding the right treatment for your individual needs.  

Growth and sores inside your mouth 

Growth and sores inside your mouth that show no signs of going away after an extended period of time could be a sign of oral cancer and should be checked by your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist is equipped to provide you with a visual cancer screening as well as inspect for any abnormalities that cannot be seen with the naked eye. 

Metallic taste in your mouth 

If you find that your mouth tastes like metal, this could be a sign that an old crown or filling is loose or cracked. It is important to seek treatment in this case as an open filling can lead to infection and cavities if left untreated. In addition to this, the sooner you seek treatment, the less likely you are to need root canal treatment to resolve an infection that could set in in a tooth where the restoration is leaking or broken.



For more advice on dental emergencies, please visit River Valley Dental in Tremonton, Utah. Call (435) 257-7344 to schedule an appointment.

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