Only 63% of US adults have visited a dentist in the past year. Many wait until a dental emergency to visit the dentist. Otherwise, neglecting to seek dental care right away could result in complications.
Here are five examples of a dental emergency to keep an eye out for. If these dental problems sound familiar, don’t wait to seek help.
Read on to discover when it’s time to visit the dentist for emergency care today.
1. Cracked or Chipped Teeth
Accidents like sporting incidents and car crashes could cause you to chip, crack, or break a tooth. Try to save the pieces before visiting an emergency dentist. Wash your mouth and the pieces with warm water before applying a cold compress to the side of your face.
The ice can help minimize swelling and inflammation before you visit the dentist.
The severity of the crack and the location of the tooth will determine what treatment your dentist will recommend.
If you’re in pain, let your dentist know. They can schedule X-rays to determine what’s causing your sensitivity, swelling, and/or pain.
2. Tooth or Gum Abscess
An abscess is a pocket of puss that builds in a tooth. When left untreated, it can build against the tooth’s root. Contact an emergency dentist right away.
Symptoms of a tooth abscess can include:
- A throbbing toothache
- Swollen or tender lymph nodes
- Facial swelling
- A salty or foul taste
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
If an infection develops, your mortality rate can increase to 40%. Don’t hesitate to seek help if you experience these symptoms.
Pus can form on the gums as well, causing a gum abscess. The infection could weaken your immune system if you wait to seek treatment.
3. A Severe Toothache
Many people shrug off a toothache, expecting it to go away on its own. In some cases, it could mean you have something caught between your teeth. If flossing doesn’t help, visit the dentist.
Schedule an appointment if you’re experiencing constant and/or extreme pain. A toothache could indicate a more serious problem.
4. A Metal Taste
If you taste metal in your mouth, it’s possible an old filling is cracked or has become loose. If you don’t seek help, your tooth could become vulnerable to infections or a cavity.
Your dentist could recommend a root canal.
5. Loose Teeth
Loose teeth could indicate your gums have become weak over time. They won’t be able to support a tooth, leading to potential tooth loss.
Your dentist could determine you have gingivitis (gum disease) or oral cancer.
Don’t wait until the tooth falls out. Instead, visit an emergency dentist right away to determine the root cause of the problem. They’ll ensure you start the proper course of treatment.
Don’t Hesitate: Seek Help During a Dental Emergency
Don’t wait to seek help if you experience a dental emergency. Instead, visit the dentist to determine what’s causing your symptoms. With their help, you can begin treatment before complications develop.
Otherwise, schedule appointments every six months to prioritize your oral health.
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