When you suffer from pain, bleeding or severe toothaches, you might be tempted to “tough it out” until your next dental visit. However, pain and inflammation can be a sign of a dental emergency that needs immediate treatment. If you don’t address the problem now, the condition could worsen or cause a bacterial infection. You might end up with a much more severe condition that could have been prevented with early intervention.
Lexington Family Smiles offers emergency dental care for patients who need to see a dentist as soon as possible. If you’re not sure if you have a dental emergency, here’s a guide to help you evaluate your symptoms.
What Are Signs of a Dental Emergency?
Dental emergencies are usually characterized by severe pain or bleeding that interferes with your regular life. You might need emergency dental care if you’re suffering from one or more of these symptoms:
- Swelling in your cheek, jaw or gums
- Severe headaches or jaw pain
- Frequent bleeding from your gums
- Difficulty swallowing
- A bitter or unpleasant taste in your mouth
- Severe tooth pain
- Loose or dislodged teeth
- Broken teeth with sharp edges that could cause mouth trauma
- Cuts or lacerations in your gums
- Loss of a tooth
If you’re in doubt, call Lexington Family Smiles to see if you need to see an emergency dentist. You can call the office or send a text message with information about your situation.
What Are Some Common Dental Emergencies?
Dental emergencies can happen to just about anyone. Here’s a look at some of the common dental emergencies that we see at Lexington Family Smiles.
Blunt force trauma could knock a tooth right out of its socket. When that happens, don’t waste any time—contact us immediately so we can perform an emergency restoration. We might be able to save the tooth if you reach our office quickly enough. If possible, try to keep it in the socket or place it in a cup of milk to preserve the tooth.
When you have a damaged tooth, a dentist places a crown over the tooth to restore the shape and protect your tooth from further damage. A lost crown exposes the damaged tooth, potentially leading to more damage or bacterial infection. The tooth could even cut the inside of your mouth if it has sharp edges. Get in touch with us right away so we can reapply the crown, and bring the original crown, if possible.
A toothache might seem like a common ailment, but they’re actually a sign of a serious issue that we need to correct as soon as possible. Toothaches are a potential sign of numerous problems, including the following:
- Gum disease. When your gums pull away from your teeth, it can expose the roots, causing tooth pain. Gum disease can also cause bleeding, inflammation and other sources of pain in your mouth.
- Loss of enamel. Not brushing your teeth regularly can cause a loss of enamel. As your enamel wears away, your teeth become more sensitive to hot and cold foods.
- Tooth decay. Acid creeps into the enamel if you don’t brush your teeth after you eat, which leads to cavities and tooth decay. The decay can reach all the way to the pulp if you don’t see a dentist in time.
- Wisdom teeth. If you didn’t get your wisdom teeth removed, they’ll cause pain when they start to push through your gums. You might have to get your wisdom teeth extracted to stop the pain.
- Teeth grinding. Your teeth could crack if you grind your teeth in your sleep.
The signs of toothaches include swelling, jaw pain, headaches, fever, sensitivity, bleeding, and discharge. Sign up for an appointment so we can determine the cause of your toothache and figure out a treatment plan.
You could chip a tooth by chewing a hard piece of food, grinding your teeth in your sleep, or suffering from blunt force trauma. Chipped teeth usually don’t ache constantly, but you could experience pain and sensitivity whenever you eat. A chipped tooth could develop an infection, so visit an emergency dentist as soon as possible. The dentist might give you a filling to restructure the tooth.
Bleeding, sore and inflamed gums are often a sign of periodontal disease. You’ve probably heard the term “gingivitis,” which refers to the earlier stages. If you don’t visit the dentist for treatment, you could suffer from gum disease that’s much harder to treat. The gums could pull away from the teeth, increasing sensitivity and causing tooth loss. Gum disease also makes it painful to eat and chew solid foods.
Like a dental crown, fillings reshape your teeth and reduce the risk of infection. This allows you to go about your life as if the damage never happened. If you lose a filling, your teeth are more likely to contract a bacterial infection. You could also suffer from more tooth damage that could expose the pulp, causing severe pain. It might seem like a minor issue but call our office right away if you lose a filling.
A dental abscess is a painful infection caused by pus developing at the root. You could suffer from a fever, severe pain, swollen lymph nodes, difficulty swallowing, or shortness of breath. The abscess could also rupture in your mouth. To treat the abscess, the dentist will drain the pus to clear out the function. If the infection is severe enough, the dentist might perform a root canal or extract the tooth altogether.
Where Can You Go for Emergency Dental Care?
Lexington Family Smiles offers emergency dental care for people who need immediate treatment. This includes replacement crowns and fillings, gum disease treatment, mouth reconstruction, tooth extraction, and much more. Call us any time if you think you have a dental emergency on your hands. If you do, we’ll see you as soon as possible — and if not, you can still set up an appointment for a cleaning and treatment. We offer services for both children and adults, including new and existing patients.
Other services include cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, sealants, cancer screenings, sleep apnea treatment, dental bridges, and fluoride treatments. We also offer regular cleanings for people who want to stay on top of their dental hygiene. Regular cleanings can prevent dental emergencies before they happen, so set up an appointment if you want to start taking care of your teeth. You can contact us online, over the phone, or through text messages. To learn more, check out the Testimonials page to see what other patients in the area think about us.