If you have been wondering when to make an emergency dentist appointment, you’re not alone. Whether you are experiencing pain, bleeding, swelling or even injury, it is not always easy to know whether it is safe to wait to make an appointment. Many patients put off going to the dentist as they feel that their pain or discomfort is not serious enough to constitute a dental emergency. The danger of leaving potentially serious problems unchecked is that even seemingly small problems can very quickly lead to more complicated problems. As a general rule of thumb, you should make a dentist appointment right away if you experience any of the following:
- Bleeding gums
- Severe pain or sensitivity
- Loose teeth
- Injury to the teeth or jaw
- Swelling of the mouth or face
- Bulges or swelling of the gums
When to Make an Emergency Dentist Appointment
Let’s take a look at some of the top reasons to make an urgent dentist appointment.
You have a loose tooth.
Loose teeth can be caused by many things, from injury all the way to gum disease. If you notice that one or more teeth feel loose or wiggly, do not wait to see if the tooth falls out. Instead, get help as quickly as possible. Untreated oral disease can lead to serious health complications. It is essential that you identify any underlying problems before they worsen.
You have pain that suddenly increases.
Toothache is typically dull, constant and manageable. If you notice a difference in your pain levels, or you suddenly experience severe pain that increases rather than decreases, it could be a sign of abscess, oral cancer, gum disease, cavities or any number of issues – some more serious than others. Never leave severe pain unchecked. Pain is your body’s way of warning you that something is wrong.
You have severe facial swelling or pain along the jawline.
Swelling and pain around the jaw could indicate swollen lymph nodes. This, in turn, could be a sign of gum disease, oral cancer, abscesses, cavities or various other potential issues. Leaving pain in the jaw will not only end up making you uncomfortable – it can also lead to more problems if there is infection or disease in the jaw bone, gums, roots or the tooth itself.
You experience sudden numbness.
While excessive or sudden pain is not good, sudden loss of feeling after a lot of pain is equally worrying. Pain typically fades gradually rather than suddenly stopping. Sometimes, abscesses burst after building up pressure and pain in the mouth. When this happens, there is a very high risk of infection if the burst abscess is not treated.
You have a painful broken or knocked out tooth.
If you cracked a tooth after biting down on something hard, or you knocked out a tooth playing sports or getting injured, it is best to get it seen to as quickly as possible. Broken and badly damaged teeth are at a great risk of infection. Teeth that have been knocked out completely often leave exposed sockets that need to be cleaned and sutured.
All in all, it is far better to book an emergency appointment with your dentist in Durban than to take a chance with your dental health. If you are ever in doubt, make sure that you play it safe and make that emergency dentist appointment to ensure peace of mind.