A dental emergency is a situation that threatens the health of your teeth, gums, or oral tissue and requires immediate attention. But how do you know if your symptoms are an emergency or if you can wait for an appointment? Explore seven common reasons to see an emergency dentist.

1. Knocked-Out Tooth

See an emergency dentist right away for a knocked-out tooth. Your immediate action and keeping the tooth moist can help save it.

What You Can Do Until You See a Dentist

Try to save your tooth with these steps:

  • Pick up the tooth by the crown.
  • Gently rinse the tooth roots with water only if the tooth is dirty.
  • Put it back into the socket and apply gentle pressure for five minutes.

If you cannot replant the tooth:

  • Avoid touching the tooth roots.
  • As the American Dental Association recommends, keep the tooth between your cheek and gums.
  • Or, put the tooth in a plastic bag, keeping it moist with your saliva or cold milk.
  • Take it with you to the dentist.

1.    Loose, Dislocated, or Fractured Tooth

A dentist needs to examine and x-ray a loose, dislocated, or fractured tooth right away. If you had trauma to your teeth or mouth, take this action quickly:

  • Remove any debris from your mouth.
  • Gently rinse your mouth with water.
  • Apply gentle, direct pressure to control bleeding.

3. Bleeding

If you have severe bleeding that will not stop, use gauze or a clean cloth to apply direct pressure to the area. And call an emergency dentist right away. Uncontrolled bleeding in any of these areas needs prompt care:

  • Tooth – Trauma or infection inside a tooth may prompt bleeding that will not stop.
  • Tongue – Hard or sharp foods or an injury from braces, dentures, biting your tongue, or other trauma can provoke bleeding. Blood vessel disorders can also cause abnormal bleeding.
  • Gums or oral tissue – A broken or cut tooth can cause gums or oral tissue to bleed uncontrollably.

4. Pain

Lingering or severe oral pain is not normal. Instead of masking intense pain with medicine, call an emergency dentist for these issues:

  • Tooth – A fractured, chipped, or infected tooth can cause severe pain. Also, untreated gum disease leads to tooth pain.
  • Jaw – An injury, tooth or gum infection, teeth grinding, or bone disease can cause jaw pain. But if your pain is intense, instead of guessing about its cause, see a dentist.
  • Oral tissue – Your gums, tongue, cheek, or oral tissue may be infected or affected by another disease.

5. Swelling

Trauma, injury, infection, disease, or an allergic reaction can cause swelling. Call an emergency dentist to report your signs and symptoms. Meanwhile, apply cold compresses to the area to control the swelling.

  • Mouth – Gum disease, tooth infection, trauma, or an allergic reaction may cause redness or swelling.
  • Face – Gum disease, an abscessed tooth, or trauma are some causes of facial swelling.
  • Jaw – Bacterial infection or a fracture may be the culprit.
  • Tongue – The cause may be an allergic reaction, infection, trauma, chemical exposure, or medication. Describe your signs and symptoms to an emergency dentist who will recommend the next steps.

6. Numbness

If your mouth suddenly goes numb, please do not ignore it. Early detection and treatment can prevent the issue from lingering or getting worse.

Possible causes of numbness:

  • Infection near a tooth root
  • Nerve damage
  • Oral cancer
  • Medication

7. Oral Sores

Most oral sores heal within two weeks. But the American Dental Association cautions against ignoring warning signs that your sores are getting worse:

  • Deepen or widen
  • Become too painful for over-the-counter medication
  • Make chewing or swallowing difficult
  • Become swollen or accompanied by a fever
  • Will not heal

Take Care of Your Dental Emergency

Taking care of a dental emergency is less costly and time-consuming than delaying care. If you have a dental emergency and live or work near La Verne, California, call In Motion Dentists today (626) 594-0374. We welcome you even if you are not yet an existing patient.