How to tell when you’re facing a dental emergency

Often when we experience dental pain, it can be difficult to judge whether our aches and pains are normal, or whether we’re facing a real dental emergency that we need to be concerned about. However, it is often the case that seemingly small dental problems can become huge ones if left untreated. In 2015, the Health and Social Care Information Centre found that half of adults fail to regularly attend the dentist, so it should come as no surprise to you that dental emergencies are on the rise.

Deciding whether you need emergency dental care can be tricky, so we’ve compiled a list of what constitutes a dental emergency and the main signs that you should take it seriously:

You have severe toothache 

Whilst we all experience minor toothache from time to time, the severity of your toothache may mean that it’s time for emergency dental treatment. If your minor toothache becomes severe, or if the pain lingers after sensitivity to touch or temperature, it’s time to seek an emergency dental service.

Your tooth is loose 

As adults, our teeth have matured and grown sturdy; we shouldn’t be experiencing wiggly or loose teeth. If you notice that your teeth are starting to feel loose, it should be a cause for concern. Loose teeth can indicate a tooth injury, perhaps from a sporting accident, and these can become painful very quickly. Loose teeth can also signify a localized infection, something like gum disease. An emergency dentist can perform an oral exam and x-ray to determine the cause.

Your jaw is swollen 

As well as loose teeth, a swollen jaw can indicate a serious sign of infection. If your jaw is swollen, you have a bad taste in your mouth, and are experiencing trouble breathing, you should seek assistance immediately – this could be a salivary gland infection. Visit an emergency dentist in London.

Your gums are bleeding 

We become accustomed to noticing slight bleeding of the gums if we’re flossing, for example. However, if you’re experiencing gum bleeding which is excessive, recurring, and leaves your gums aching, that’s a sign you’re facing a dental emergency. Diagnosing gum disease early is key to keeping your gums healthy and teeth intact, as untreated symptoms can pass the point of no return.

You’ve constantly got a headache 

Although headaches are very common and can be a warning sign for many illnesses, chronic headaches can indicate a problem with your teeth. Your teeth and head are connected, so a pain in your jaw or mouth can affect a headache. You could be suffering with bruxism (teeth grinding) which is causing your headaches. Talk to your dentist as soon as possible if you experience any other warning signs of bruxism, like increased sensitivity in teeth.

Your mouth tastes like metal 

If you’ve had a metal filling in the past, raise an alarm if your mouth begins to taste like metal, as this could be a sign that your old filling has cracked or become loose.


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