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Dental Emergencies: What to Do if You Experience Oral Pain, Swelling, or Redness

A dental emergency is a serious medical problem that involves the teeth, gums, jaws, or other parts of the face or mouth. 

If you are dealing with serious pain, swelling, numbness, and/or are having trouble breathing, eating, talking, or swallowing, then you need to see a dentist or oral surgeon as soon as possible.

Loose teeth also constitute a medical emergency, and a dental abscess can be life-threatening, and should not be put off until the last minute.

A tooth that has been knocked out of the mouth or has fallen out should also be considered a medical emergency, as the dentist may be able to salvage the tooth if it is quickly transported to the hospital or clinic.

Some tooth sensitivity, mild pain, a dry mouth, or bad breath may not be a dental emergency. If you have any doubts, then call your dentist and describe your symptoms to them. Here, our focus will be on what you should do in the event of oral pain, swelling, or redness.

What are the dental emergencies that happen frequently?

If your gums are swollen or bleeding, then you may have a form of gum disease. Gum disease is also known as gingivitis, and, when it is left untreated, will progress to a more serious form of gum disease known as periodontitis.

Periodontitis will lead to the shifting of teeth and the receding of gums. Eventually, the lack of support and erosion of the gums will result in the permanent loss of many or all of your teeth.

It is also possible for a foreign object or a piece of food to become stuck or caught between your teeth. If you do not remove the item, then it can lead to bad breath and infections due to the rotting food. It is also possible for the item to cause your teeth to shift.

Moreover, a dental procedure, such as the extraction of a wisdom tooth, may cause some bleeding. Mild bleeding, pain, and inflammation are to be expected as your body heals. However, excessive and persistent bleeding is not normal following a dental procedure.

Please call your oral surgeon as soon as possible if you notice persistent bleeding and intense pain, as you may be dealing with a dry socket.

It is possible for a severe dental infection/cavity to cause a headache, excruciating pain, swelling, and a high fever. You should call your dentist immediately in the event that you are experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms.

As can be seen, there are many dental emergencies that should not be taken lightly. If your dentist is unable to accommodate you due to their busy schedule, then you should visit an emergency dental clinic in your area. 

Emergency dental clinics are usually open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, and often do not require an appointment or an open file.

How to Stay Ahead of Potential Dental Emergencies

It is recommended that you take a proactive approach to your oral health. Do not wait until problems become serious and complicated. For example, if you notice blood when you brush and/or floss, then you may be suffering from gum disease. Sensitivity, pain, swelling, and a bitter taste in the mouth may also be signs of a dental infection. 

As well, you should wear a mouthguard when you play sports in order to protect your teeth from harm. Furthermore, most experts recommend that people visit their dentist twice a year for routine checkups and cleanings. However, some patients with severe dental problems may need to see their dentist 3 to 4 times a year for deep cleanings and other dental procedures.

It is important that you choose the most appropriate dental plan for your family. You may be able to save time and money by selecting a family dentist that is qualified to treat the dental issues of children and adults alike. Having all of your files in the same clinic can make it easy to book appointments, as your entire family can have their checkups and cleanings completed in one sitting.

How can dental emergencies and pain be treated?

The root cause of the pain needs to be identified before any dental work can be completed.  Every patient and case is unique and different, and should be treated as such. There is no panacea that can treat all dental problems with ease.

The age of the patient, their overall health, the severity of their dental issue, and their anxiety level all need to be given careful consideration in order to help enhance their prognosis.

Dental implants can be used in order to replace teeth that have been lost due to an accident or extensive decay. A root canal may be able to save a tooth so that the patient can still retain their natural tooth.

Dental extractions of wisdom teeth can help prevent infections, crowding, and other serious health problems down the line. A serious abscess may also require that the patient take antibiotics before the dentist begins working on the patient’s teeth.

Oral Health Matters

A healthy diet that is rich in vegetables and fruits may reduce the risk of many different oral health problems, including cavities and scurvy. Try to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water per day instead of drinking coffee, soda, or juices.

Coffee will stain your teeth, while soda will cause your teeth to decay. Many fruit juices are high in citrus content and will wear away the enamel on your teeth, which may lead to dental sensitivity in due time.

Many dental problems start as minor issues. For instance, cavities tend to grow slowly, and may take years until they cause serious pain. Do not wait until the last minute if you notice any unusual symptoms involving your teeth or gums.

When caught early, most dental problems can be treated quickly and affordably so that you can return to your normal routine.

Ana Hoffman
Anna Hoffman is a part-time blogger who writes on Business, Technology, Digital Marketing, Real Estate, Lifestyle, and Educational topics.
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