It always seems to happen on a weekend, doesn't it? You or a loved one need immediate relief from severe pain or a dental infection. Most types of dental problems clearly fall into the category of either emergency or non-emergency. But sometimes, you may not always realize what qualifies as a dental emergency and what type of problem can wait until next week.
A number of problems can lead you to reaching out to your dentist through their after-hours calling system. One of these is a displaced or fractured tooth. Teeth can fracture in a number of ways; many times, a tooth can be knocked out or displaced when playing sports or enduring some form of trauma.
When playing any type of contact sport, you can prevent most traumatic injuries by wearing a special mouthguard to lower the odds of suffering tooth damage due to falls or collisions.
Some types of oral infections, like gingivitis or cold sores, will require eventual medical care, but not emergency treatment. Certain types of infections, like swelling under your mouth or around your jawline that leads to difficulty swallowing and breathing, can require emergency medical care to prevent bacteria from traveling from your mouth to your heart, potentially endangering your life.
Other types of oral infections can result in intense pain that interferes with sleep, even when you are using an over-the-counter pain medication. Excruciating pain is definitely a reason for an immediate dental visit, although most infections would not require an emergency visit if they had been treated earlier.
Whenever you have tooth nerves that are exposed, you will not be left wondering about whether it qualifies as a dental emergency or not. The excruciating pain will tell you all that you need to know. One technique that works for some people is placing a piece of sugarless gum over the exposed nerve until you can reach the dentist. Others sometimes find relief by slicing a garlic clove and placing it on the gum next to the affected tooth, as garlic is strongly antimicrobial.
Your suddenly sensitive teeth or toothache may not always qualify as emergencies, but they will eventually require attention. Dental emergencies usually result from infections and fractures, and urgency is experienced whenever you are suffering from sudden sensitivity to extreme temperatures, sweets, or have severe pain.
Most dental problems that eventually become emergencies can be dealt with before the situation grows out of hand. For example, it could be that cavity that you've been putting off having filled, which worsens into a tooth abscess, pressing on a nerve and causing intense pain. This is why it is so important to maintain your regular dental checkups so that we can prevent or detect problems when they are small and more easily treated.
If you should suffer a dental emergency, please contact Boulevard Dental right away. If you are concerned that a minor problem may eventually lead to a dental emergency, please schedule an appointment today.
Finally, be sure to keep up with your scheduled checkups so that we can regularly examine and clean your teeth to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.