Merion Village Dental Blog

5 Signs You Need Emergency Dental Care

November 30, 2022

Rob Florimonte

Categories: MVD Patients

We’ve all experienced a small toothache or mouth pain from time to time, however there is a fine line between minor pains and warning signs of an actual emergency.

Symptoms in the early stages are often time overlooked due to many reasons: fear of the dentist, lack of insurance, or sometimes you just may not know what a dental emergency looks like. In our experience, it’s always best to treat these situations with cautious care – and never wait until you’re in unbearable pain. Emergency dental care is nothing to procrastinate about. The longer you wait may result in irreversible tooth damage and chronic pain.

But it doesn’t have to come to this. Read on to learn common signs you should see an emergency dentist ASAP.

When Does Tooth Pain Become An Emergency?

There are several factors that play into needing emergency dental services. One of the most important indicators is how long you’ve been experiencing tooth and/or mouth pain. There are also other factors that contribute to diagnosing an emergency situation, such as what is causing the pain in the first place. For example, it’s normal to experience slight discomfort when biting down too hard or gulping down an ice cold beverage. If neither of these apply to you, also consider that most tooth pain can be alleviated with over the counter (OTC) pain medication like Advil or Ibuprofen.

Should you find yourself experiencing bleeding, swelling, and pain for more than a few days, however, it’s time to seek emergency dental care.

Common Signs You Should See An Emergency Dentist

Identifying a potential emergency versus run-of-the-mill tooth pain can be difficult if you’re not familiar with warning signs. If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms below, there’s no question about it: you need to schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately.

1. Your Tooth Is Chipped Or Broken

Breaking or chipping a tooth can cause excruciating pain and should be treated like an emergency. Fixing broken teeth requires professional, restorative dental services so be sure to call your dentist right away. If you can’t get in immediately, there are a few ways to treat the pain in the meantime. 

  1. Rinse your mouth out with water
  2. Apply pressure on any bleeding areas for at least 10 minutes
  3. Ice your mouth to help with swelling and pain
  4. Take an OTC pain medication

2. You’re Suffering From A 3+ Day Toothache

If you’ve been suffering from tooth pain for three or more days, you definitely have an emergency on your hands. A toothache can cause more problems for you than just discomfort. Swelling, headaches, bad breath and horrible tasting tooth drainage can result from chronic toothaches if you’re not careful. This may be an indicator of tooth decay, an abscessed tooth, or infected gums.

3. Bleeding Gums

While bleeding gums can be a result of something as small as brushing your teeth too hard, it can also be a warning sign for ominous conditions including early stage gum disease or worse – gingivitis. This is why prioritizing your gum health is an absolute must. As always, remember to brush your teeth twice a day to reduce plaque buildup around the gumline, which ultimately can lead to serious diagnoses.

4. Jaw/Mouth Swelling

Jaw and mouth swelling can sometimes be a sign of a tooth infection. Other signs of infection include mouth discharge, trouble swallowing, and fever. Because infections get more dangerous (and more painful) the longer they linger, consulting your dentist is a must anytime you notice swelling.

5. Broken Crown And/Or Missing Filling

Losing a filling or dental crown is no joke. From chewing hard foods like candy, to a breakdown in the bonding agent and even tooth decay; it’s imperative that you address dental crowns and filling ailments sooner rather than later to save yourself a lot of pain and discomfort.

How To Schedule Your Emergency Dentist Appointment

We experience mouth/tooth pain for a variety of reasons. In order to protect your oral health, make sure to take any abnormal pain, swelling, bleeding into consideration when deciding whether or not you need emergency dental care. Chronic toothaches are best treated professionally, which means it’s always best to talk to your dentist if you’re not sure exactly what is causing you pain in the first place.
Do you or your family need an emergency dentist? Merion Village Dental is here to help! To speak with a member of our staff call or text 614-443-4400, or schedule an appointment online.

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