31.6% of adults aged between 20-44 years had untreated dental caries between 2011 and 2014.
Cavities are some of the most common dental problems. Unfortunately, most people do not seek help until the last minute. Many times, it is the excruciating pain that prompts an emergency dental clinic visit.
The problem with the last-minute rush is that it might be too late to save your tooth. Here are several signs that will help you know when you urgently need to see a dentist.
1. Aching and Bleeding Gums
Gum disease is relatively common among adults. That being said, bleeding gums are still a cause for concern that you shouldn’t ignore.
If, however, your gums keep bleeding incessantly day after day, in excessive amounts and the bleeding leaves your gums aching then you have a dental emergency.
Additionally, aching or swollen gums are a sign that you may be dealing with gingivitis or gum disease. Since the symptoms can get to a point of no return you want to see your dentist as soon as you spot signs of gum disease.
If you have periodontal disease, the dentist will prescribe treatment based entirely on the stage it’s at.
2. A Swollen Jaw
There are several reasons as to why your jaw might swell. Among these reasons is the infection of your salivary glands.
An infection can result from a blockage or inflammation of your salivary duct. When your salivary gland or duct swells it ends up reducing the amount of saliva you can produce.
If along with a swollen jaw you experience a bad taste in your mouth, trouble swallowing or breathing and a fever you should see a dentist immediately. Other symptoms to look out for include a dry mouth, facial pain and pus in your mouth.
3. Dental Abscess
A dental abscess is a condition where pus builds up inside your gums or teeth. The bacteria present in the plaque can cause an infection that leads to the abscess.
The infection is extremely painful and this can be due to the cavity that goes untreated. Severe gum disease and trauma that has happened to the tooth can also be alternative sources of the pain you’ll experience.
Other symptoms can include:
● Difficulties when opening your mouth
● A foul taste
● Swollen glands
● Sensitivity to hot or cold fluids and foods
There are three types of dental abscesses. The type of abscess will dictate how severe the symptoms are and where the abscess itself is located.
Treating an abscessed tooth will typically call for surgery to drain the infection.
4. Loose Teeth
As an adult, you should never have any wiggly or loose teeth.
Your tooth can become loose for several reasons. One of these reasons is tooth injury. When your tooth gets injured, it can be quite a painful affair since the tooth or its tissue could be damaged.
Clenching and grinding your teeth is another reason that can lead to its injury. When you grind your teeth, you loosen them while wearing down the tissue.
Whenever you notice a loose tooth, you should make an emergency dentist visit just in case there is nerve or jaw damage.
5. Severe Toothache
A toothache is one of the most common dental emergencies you can have. If you have ever had any kind of toothache you know that it can’t be ignored.
Mild toothaches can be treated with certain home remedies. Severe toothaches, however, call for a dentist as there might be various causes behind it.
Some of the symptoms associated with a toothache that call for emergency dental care include:
● Swelling around the tooth
● Headache or fever
● Foul-tasting drainage from the tooth
● Pain when opening your mouth
● Aching that lasts for more than two days
Treatment for toothache will depend entirely on the cause behind it. Sometimes, the tooth might have to be extracted.
6. Canker Sores That Won’t Go Away
A canker sore is a small ulcer inside the mouth. It occurs in the soft tissues in your mouth which can include just inside the lips, inside the cheeks and on the tongue. It can also occur at the base of the gum.
A canker sore typically looks gray or white with red edges. Generally speaking, these sores aren’t contagious, and they heal on their own after about a week or two.
Any canker sores that last more than two weeks become an emergency and you ought to see your dentist as soon as possible.
Some of the causes of canker sores can include:
● Mouth rinse and toothpaste containing sodium lauryl sulfate
● Allergic response to specific bacteria in the mouth
● Injury due to extreme brushing or dental work
Whatever the cause, a sore that won’t go away on its own needs to be checked by a dentist.
7. Constant Headaches
There are many reasons as to why you might have a headache. However, when you start to develop chronic, recurring headaches then there is more than meets the eye.
Your head and your teeth are connected. Many times, if there is a pain in your jaw or mouth, it could end up resulting in a headache.
Constant headaches can point to Bruxism. This is a condition where you unconsciously grind your teeth when you aren’t eating anything. Patients who constantly keep grinding their teeth experience constant aches that begin in the temples.
Although the causes of Bruxism are not well understood, genetic and psychological factors are often to blame.
If you experience symptoms that point to the condition, consult a dentist to find out what can be done to manage it.
Know When You Need Emergency Dental Services
There is more knowledge and awareness today about how to maintain excellent dental hygiene.
Despite this abundance of information, many people still ignore their dental health until circumstances force them to make emergency dental visits.
Protection is always better than cure. It is therefore important to be proactive when it comes to your dental health. Brush twice a day, floss at least once daily and visit your dentist as often as necessary.