Tooth emergency: 7 signs you need to visit your dentist immediately
Most people are aware they should visit the dentist for an annual check-up and cleaning. These visits help your dentist keep tabs on your oral health.
Sometimes these yearly visits are not enough, though. In the case of a dental emergency, you cannot wait until that annual check-up. Immediate dental care is necessary to prevent tooth loss, infections, and even death.
Keep reading for seven symptoms you should be on the lookout for. If you experience any of these symptoms, you need to see the dentist as soon as possible.
1. You Have Loose Teeth
Adults should not have any loose teeth. By the time you reach adulthood, your teeth have matured into the tools you use every day to eat your meals. You shouldn't be expecting any visits from the tooth fairy.
A wiggly tooth can indicate a tooth injury. These injuries can result from playing sports or car wrecks.
You should schedule a time to see your dentist after any incident involving your mouth. You may not even have any pain after your sports accident or car crash. But there could be underlying nerve or jaw damage that isn't presenting symptoms (yet)
A loose tooth can occur as the result of a localized infection. You must visit your dentist to understand what is causing the infection. They'll take X-rays and perform an oral exam to see if gum disease or cavities are part of the problem.
If you lose a tooth as an adult, you won't have to be toothless forever. Dental implants can fill in any of the blanks in your mouth. It's best to avoid losing a tooth as an adult in the first place, though.
2. You Have a Dental Abscess
A dental abscess is a very serious and painful infection. Untreated cavities or gum disease are two of the main causes. Tooth trauma is another common cause of oral abscesses.
There are two types of dental abscesses. The first is a periapical abscess, which occurs at the tooth root. Periodontal abscesses happen next to the tooth in the gums.
Symptoms include fever, pus, and swollen glands. These symptoms can also occur with other infections, so you must consult your dentist. He or she may suggest surgery to ensure the infection is cleared out.
Abscessed tooth dangers should be taken seriously. They can become life-threatening if not treated in a timely manner. The infection can pass to nearby tissues or cause a bone infection.
Ludwig angina is a bacterial infection that can develop after an abscess. This form of cellulitis causes swelling of the neck and tongue. Without immediate care, it can lead to suffocation and death.
3. You Have an Extreme Toothache
You can treat a minor toothache at home if it's not too painful. When the pain becomes severe, a dentist can provide emergency toothache relief. The treatment will depend on what's causing the pain, so you'll need a proper diagnosis as soon as possible.
You'll know your toothache is severe if you can't eat or drink hot or cold things and are having problems chewing.
Undiagnosed toothaches can turn dangerous fast. Your dentist can prescribe antibiotics to kill any present bacteria. Medication can always prevent any infections from growing further, too.
4. You Have Sores on Your Tongue or Lips
It's normal to get canker sores now and then. But if you have one that just won't go away, it's time to visit the dentist. This goes for other oral lesions you may have, too.
Oral cancers can be very aggressive, and they're not as rare as you may think. About 5,300 Canadians will receive an oral cancer diagnosis this year.
If they're not caught early enough, they can become severe quickly. Your dentist will do a biopsy to rule out cancer.
Just because you have an oral lesion doesn't mean you have cancer, though. Your dentist may take an intraoral photo of your lesion instead. This way, they can monitor it to see if it grows.
5. You Have Consistent Headaches
Headaches occur for a myriad of reasons. Sometimes something as simple as missing a meal can cause a headache.
It becomes a concern when you begin to suffer from chronic and recurring headaches. This is usually a sign that there's something more serious going on.
Your mouth is a part of your head, so it makes sense that oral pain can translate to head pain. Mouth or jaw pain can show up as headaches if left untreated.
Something as simple as grinding your teeth at night can cause daytime headaches. If this is the case for you, your dentist may give you a mouth guard to wear to bed.
6. You Have a Numb Tooth
If you've had a severe toothache but now, the tooth is numb, it's time to see your dentist.
A numb tooth is a sign that an infection has spread to its root. Numbness can also result from an abscess reaching your tooth's nerves. Sometimes, your dentist will need to perform a root canal to remedy this.
7. Your Gums Are Aching and Bleeding
You may notice your gums bleeding after flossing. This can be an early warning sign of gum disease or gingivitis. You must visit your dentist for a proper diagnosis.
If you're bleeding a lot and experiencing gum pain, you should see your dentist as soon as possible. It's important to catch gum disease as early as possible to ensure your teeth stay healthy and intact.
Untreated symptoms of gum disease will eventually reach a point of no return. If you wait too long for treatment, you may not be able to restore your teeth to the way they once were.
Seek Immediate Dental Care
If you're experiencing the above symptoms, seek immediate dental care. It could be nothing, but it's always better to err on the side of caution.
If you're searching for a new dentist, contact us today. Our friendly team of dental professionals will be your best defense against oral woes.