When Should I Seek Emergency Dental Care?

brown haired girl holding her jaw with a dental emergency

Most of us go to the dentist just for our usual cleanings and exams, but what if something dramatic happens to your teeth? It may be something that can get treated in a few days or so, but there are certain situations that constitute an emergency, and emergency dental care is needed. They are:

  • A badly-cracked or knocked-out tooth
  • Swollen jaw
  • Loose teeth
  • Bad tooth pain
  • Excessive gum bleeding

A Badly-Cracked or Knocked-Out Tooth

Whether you’re playing sports and get hit in the face, or you bite down on something hard, your teeth can break and crack. Depending on the trauma, they can even get knocked out completely. While small cracks can generally be tended to within a few days, a tooth with a significant chunk missing is a big problem. It can expose the nerve, and in its broken stage, it’s much weaker than normal. If you don’t seek emergency care, you’ll experience pain and risk losing more of the tooth.

If the tooth has been knocked out, that’s a pretty clear emergency. You will need to see us within 30 minutes to save the tooth. Pick up the tooth (by the root, ideally) and if it’s dirty, rinse it in pure water. Try to put it back in the socket, holding it in place by biting down on gauze. It you can’t put it in the socket for some reason, it needs to stay moist, so keep it in milk or in your mouth in your cheek, so you don’t swallow it by accident.

Swollen Jaw

A swollen jaw is never a good sign and often a symptom of an infection. This is known as an abscess, and in addition to swelling, it can cause pain in your teeth, sensitivity, and fever. Abscesses are pus pockets caused by bacteria breaking down the tissues in your mouth. If that isn’t horrifying enough, if untreated, abscesses cause infections to spread. If you are experiencing symptoms like a swollen jaw, please contact us and we can treat the problem.

Loose Teeth

Adult teeth should never be loose. Looseness has a few causes, like an injury or infection. Loose teeth will probably come with some pain, as well, which is your body telling you something is wrong. If you notice a loose tooth or multiple loose teeth, make an emergency dental appointment.

Bad Tooth Pain

Intense pain in one or more teeth can be a sign of many issues, including cracks, an abscess, gum disease, and exposed dentin. If the pain makes it hard to chew or focus, you should seek emergency dental care. Minor tooth pain is never good either, and you should definitely make an appointment, but you don’t need to rush to the office unless the pain is strong.

Excessive Gum Bleeding

If you aren’t a regular flosser, you might see some blood from your gums following flossing, but if the bleeding is startling or keeps happening, it’s a sign that something is off. Bleeding gums will also most likely ache and swell. It could be the beginning of gum disease, so you want to see Dr. Kim or Dr. Upersa at Laulani Dental Care as soon as possible.

Here at Laulani Dental Care, we offer emergency dental services, so if any of the above problems arise, don’t hesitate to give us a call!

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