What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?

Posted on: 10 February 2020

When it comes to seeking emergency medical care, most people know when to do so with few problems. But when it comes to dental emergencies, it's natural to feel a little confused. If you're not sure if you need to see an emergency dentist, it may help to learn more about what constitutes a dental emergency.

Displacing or Fracturing a Tooth

Accidents do happen, and when they affect your mouth, they can have a big impact on your smile. A displaced or fractured tooth is usually a dental emergency.

Even if the fracture seems small, you shouldn't neglect to address the problem. Suffering from a smaller fracture doesn't mean there isn't a bigger problem beneath the surface. When something hits you with a strong enough force to cause a fracture, there's a chance there's a bigger problem beneath the surface. As such, you'll probably require a dental X-ray.

Swelling Around Your Jawline

If you're suffering from a sudden swelling anywhere in your mouth, you need to see a dentist as soon as you can. One common reason for swelling, particularly around the jawline, is an abscess. Unfortunately, such problems don't go away on their own, and they can lead to more serious infections later.

Sometimes swelling in your mouth can be related to acute infections, which can be more serious. For example, sialadenitis can cause swelling. As such infections have the potential to obstruct your airway, you'll need help from a dental professional as soon as you can reach it. You may find that they need to refer you to a maxillofacial specialist, but they're the best people to perform the initial review of your condition.

Sudden and Severe Pain

If you can feel dental pain slowly creeping up on you, you may be able to wait until you can make a routine appointment. However, make sure you make that appointment as soon as you can, as pain is an indication that you require treatment to prevent a dental emergency.

On the other hand, if you experience pain that's sudden and severe, you need to see someone as quickly as possible. This is especially true when that pain was preceded by a milder sensation that went away for a while. By seeing your dentist when severe pain strikes, you give them a better chance of identifying the problem and addressing it without you losing your teeth.

To learn more, contact an emergency dentist.