When you have a dental emergency, you may not realize how serious your issue is right away. Most people believe that seemingly innocent issues, such as canker sores or bleeding gums, are not serious enough to see a dentist about. Emergency dental care is the best way to protect your oral health, and knowing what to look out for can mean the difference between a serious dental issue and a healthy smile. Learn about seemingly innocent dental emergencies that need care right away, so you can have a healthier mouth.
Recurring canker or mouth sores
While getting a canker sore here and there is normal, recurring mouth sores can be a sign of a more serious issue—oral cancer. Some oral cancers start out harmless enough, appearing like simple canker sores or infection in the gums. Many cancers of the mouth spread without care because people don't know what to look out for. Get a dental appointment immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms and there is no explanation for them, especially if they occur together:
- recurring mouth sores (including canker sores)
- a lump or hard tissue in the lining of your mouth
- a sore throat without having a cold or infection
- difficulty chewing or swallowing
- loose or painful teeth
- a white or red patch inside your mouth
These symptoms can indicate other oral health issues as well, so see your dentist immediately if you notice one or more of any of these symptoms and they don't go away on their own within a few days.
A painful tooth
A tooth that exhibits pain but doesn't appear to be infected or filled with a cavity should not be ignored. If you experience a stabbing pain in a single tooth when you eat or drink, or feel discomfort when you bite down, your tooth may have a crack in it that is causing you problems. Often unseen by the naked eye, a cracked tooth often requires an X-ray to diagnose, and left untreated can lead to serious discomfort and dental decay. Persistent pain in a single tooth even when it appears to be otherwise healthy should never be ignored.
Bleeding or swollen gums
You may think your gums are bleeding because you brush your teeth too hard, but bleeding or swollen gums are actually a sign of gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums. This is due to plaque and bacteria getting trapped in your gum tissue, which can lead to serious dental issues. Left untreated, your gums may continue to get infected and can result in loss of gum tissue, bad breath, and poor oral health. If you notice your gums are bleeding or swollen, see your dentist right away so you can get proper treatment.
There are many oral issues that don't seem like a real problem at first. If you notice any of these seemingly innocent dental issues, see your dentist, one like Salem Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, right away so you can get effective treatment and stay on track with your oral health.