What Counts as a Dental Emergency?
Posted on 11th January 2021 at 09:10
Determining what constitutes an ‘emergency’ when it comes to your teeth can be tricky. Here in U.K the ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ attitude sometimes has the tendency to hinder our judgement when it comes to seeking out help (for a lot of things!), but there are some scenarios where getting in touch with your dentist urgently is vital to your immediate health and wellbeing. Here are a few examples of cases that warrant emergency care.
Severe toothache is never fun and can inhibit your ability to perform basic daily tasks and affect your concentration levels. You should seek an emergency appointment if this sounds familiar, as the origin of the toothache will need to be ascertained as soon as possible, in order to prevent potential complications escalating and causing potentially irrevocable damage.
Excessively bleeding gums
A little blood when you brush and floss could indicate the first signs of gum disease (gingivitis) and whilst this means you should be making changes to your dental routine, it isn’t under the umbrella of ‘emergency’. If you’re experiencing excessive bleeding or severe inflammation, you should arrange an emergency appointment, as we will need to examine what’s going on and take action immediately. Untreated gum disease has the potential to get to the point of no return if left untreated and cause tooth loss.
A lump or swelling in the jaw could be a sign of a salivary gland infection, which is a rather unpleasant and painful issue. In many cases, a course of antibiotics can clear the infection up, but if it is allowed to reach a point where your breathing is impeded or you are struggling to swallow, you should seek emergency treatment straight away. Prevent salivary gland stones by practicing good oral hygiene and staying hydrated as this will prevent calcium lumps from blocking your salivary gland and preventing saliva from doing its job in the mouth.
Damaging your braces
Interruptions to orthodontic treatment is classed as an emergency. Damage to a brace needs addressing as soon as possible, as it can undo the progress your teeth have made during the treatment period. If you have damaged or lost your braces, please get in touch with us.
A dental abscess
An abscessed tooth can present very painful symptoms that need to be addressed straight away. An abscess is an infection found at your tooth’s root and is usually caused by an untreated cavity, deep historic filling or violent knock. If you have an abscess, you might experience a fever, a foul taste in your mouth, pus around the area or swollen glands. During an emergency appointment, the abscess will need to be drained and you may be given antibiotics to clear up signs of infection. Failing to treat an abscess can result in the infection spreading to other parts of your neck and head, putting your wider health at risk.
Should you have any questions at all or need to book an appointment please don't hesitate to contact us on 0115 910 1447. You can read all about Park Dental Care’s root canal specialist Alison Warneken here.
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