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Common Situations in Which You Need To See an Emergency Dentist
While regular trips to the dentist can help prevent serious oral health issues from developing, some conditions may require the immediate attention of an emergency dentist. Though there may be several reasons for a person to seek emergency dental care, the most common include a knocked-out tooth, excessive bleeding, sharp pain, infection, and swelling.
Situations that require the care of an emergency dentist
In a nutshell, a dental emergency is a dental issue that needs to be addressed right away. That said, some emergencies are urgent, while others can wait until the next business day when a general or family dental office is open. It is important that individuals know the difference between an urgent emergency and non-urgent one, as it is important for an emergency dentist to remain free to handle actual emergencies. Below are a few situations that may be classified as urgent.
Knocked out tooth
A knocked-out tooth is one of the most common and best reasons to schedule an emergency dental appointment. Both children and adults can lose a tooth in a variety of situations. The most common include contact sports, car accidents, slips and falls, and running into fixed objects. While having a tooth knocked out can be alarming, it is possible to fix a tooth back into its socket. By finding the missing tooth, placing it in a glass of milk, and refraining from touching it, a person can protect the tooth until arriving at a dentist’s office.
Infection, pain, and swelling
Minor toothaches are not reason enough to visit an emergency dentist. However, when the pain is severe and is accompanied by swelling, a bacterial infection may be present. A bacterial infection, when left untreated, can quickly turn into an abscess. Abscesses refer to tiny, pus-filled sacs that cause moderate to intense pain. If an abscess is left untreated for a certain length of time, the infection could spread to other parts of the body, putting the person’s life in danger. If a person suspects that infection is present, they should head to the nearest emergency dental office right away.
Bleeding gums and pus
Bleeding gums are a sign of gum disease. When pus accompanies blood, it is indicative that the disease has progressed to an advanced stage of periodontitis. In the advanced stages, the decay can rapidly spread to deeper areas of the jaw and eventually result in tooth loss. While a person should never wait for gum disease to progress to the point of pus and tooth loss, if one does, they should seek dental care right away, even if it means turning to an emergency dentist.
When a blunt injury occurs, blood may flow from the injured site. Other than that, however, it may appear that all is fine. Many times, all is not fine. Following a blunt injury, a person should visit a dentist right away to determine if damage did occur and, if so, to what extent.
It can be difficult to ascertain if a dental problem is an emergency or if it can wait for a regular dental appointment. If you are unsure, the best thing to do is speak to a dental professional right away.
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