It happens to the best of us. Work, school, and major life events sometimes take up all of our time and energy. We start to care for ourselves a little less and, before we know it, we suddenly feel a little ache in our jaw that wasn’t there before.
Left untreated, some dental issues can eventually land us in the emergency room. Any sort of infection can eventually have life-threatening consequences. Therefore, it’s in our best interest to take care of our entire body–especially our teeth and gums.
We want to help you not just by offering top of the line dental services, but also by helping you spot the signs early on that you need to see a qualified emergency dentist. Let’s go over the facts about when it’s time to get urgent dental care, starting with one of the most important things you should do: don’t panic!
Don’t Panic Right Away–It May Not Be a Dental Emergency
While it’s incredibly vital for you to get preventative care and to call your dentist if you notice anything strange, stressing yourself out over a dental emergency will only harm your health further.
If one of your teeth starts hurting, there’s a variety of reasons this could be happening. For starters, pain can be an early sign of gum disease, which is treatable.
Dental Cleanings Can Treat Early Gum Disease
Your regular, scheduled dental cleanings should prevent the onset of gum disease. However, even if gum disease does develop, dental cleanings are specifically designed to eliminate it with root planing and scaling.
During a dental cleaning, your dentist will also carefully examine your mouth. This allows them to take care of a developing dental problem before it becomes costly.
Signs You Need to See an Emergency Dentist
The sooner you see a dentist for emergency dental services, the better. There’s a variety of reasons you may need emergency dental care. If you notice the following symptoms or issues, it’s time to make a call:
Your Teeth Feel Loose
Teeth that shift around in your gums as you move your mouth are a sign of advanced periodontal disease. While your dentist can still sometimes treat periodontal disease at this stage, it is in your best interest to seek treatment immediately if you notice this happening.
Important: Even if you brush and floss your teeth two times a day, you can still develop periodontal disease. This can happen due to bad habits like smoking or only brushing your teeth once a day. Periodontal disease can also happen due to factors outside of your control such as your family history, a hormonal imbalance, or certain medications.
You Feel a Sharp Pain in One of Your Teeth
Unless you’ve accidentally cut your gums from eating something crunchy, you should never feel pain in your gums or teeth. Pain in one of your teeth can be a sign of damaged nerves or tooth decay.
In cases with advanced tooth decay, your dentist may have to treat your tooth with a root canal. During a root canal, your tooth will be cleansed of pulp to remove the infection inside. Then, it will be filled and sealed to prevent any further issues.
You Break or Crack a Tooth
Accidents happen, especially if you play sports. Having a broken or cracked tooth doesn’t just affect your appearance. It’s also an oral health issue that can worsen if it isn’t treated as soon as possible.
A crack or chip in your tooth weakens the overall structure of your tooth. This opens you up for future issues, such as more cracks in your enamel or even nerve damage. Thankfully, emergency dentists offer procedures such as dental fillings, which use composite resins to fill in the missing parts of your tooth or teeth.
In the meantime, if you can’t get an appointment right away, you can try putting a cold compress against your mouth if you feel any pain from the initial impact.
You Lose a Dental Crown
While you shouldn’t expect it to happen, sometimes complications may arise from a procedure you had gotten done previously. If you notice your dental crown has fallen out for one reason or another, it’s vital for you to get it replaced as soon as possible.
A tooth that does not have a crown is highly susceptible to decay. In some cases, it may even start to break apart. That’s why it’s important to schedule a dental visit to have your dental crown replaced the moment you notice it missing.
Your Gums Are Swollen by Your Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are usually removed in your younger years, but they can cause issues later on, even if you’ve never had issues with them before. If the soft tissue by your wisdom teeth are swollen, red, and irritated, it may be a sign that you need a tooth extraction.
It’s also important to pay attention to the other signs that your wisdom teeth need to come out. Another sign that it’s time to remove your wisdom teeth is bad breath that won’t seem to go away no matter how much you take care of your oral health. This usually happens because of an infection.
Your dentist may also recommend that you get your wisdom teeth removed if they notice crowding. Crowding makes it difficult to reach in between your teeth to clean them.
Keep in mind that your wisdom teeth are not the only teeth that may need to be extracted. Depending on the severity of other dental issues, your dentist may recommend extracting a tooth to save the rest of your teeth.
Before you get the procedure done, your dentist will first give you an oral exam and likely take an x-ray to show any internal damage. They will then go over your options for replacing your tooth so you know exactly what to expect.
Book an Appointment with an Emergency Dentist in Ballantyne, NC
When you have a dental emergency, like a knocked out tooth, you’ll want to see a dental professional right away. Our knowledgeable, friendly dentists at Aten & Garofalo Dentistry are here to help you with your every need, including preventative services and emergency dental care in Ballantyne, NC.
Let us be the first people you call during a dental emergency. Book an appointment today!