Often when something in your mouth is bothering you, the best approach is to call your dentist and make an appointment in the next few days. Issues like sensitive teeth and sore gums definitely demand dental care, but they don't need to be treated immediately. Some dental problems, however, really are emergencies. It's a good idea to know the difference so that you can seek emergency dental care when needed. So, what are the signs a dental problem is an emergency? Take a look.
You're bleeding substantially.
A few drops of blood from some sore gums is one thing. Substantial bleeding because you knocked your mouth on something or broke a tooth is quite another. When you're bleeding, it means you've done substantial damage, and that damage is usually best addressed right away. Your dentist can stop the bleeding and also treat the immediate cause of the bleeding, whether that's a broken tooth or a gash on your gums. Until you make it to the emergency dentist, try biting down on some gauze to slow the bleeding. Don't use cotton; it can leave stray fibers behind in the injured tissues.
You have a fever.
A fever is usually an indicator of an infection. And infections in your oral tissues can become very serious, very quickly. They are not unlikely to spread to your brain or circulatory system, at which point they become very dangerous and hard to treat. If you have any other dental symptoms like tooth pain or a broken tooth, and you then develop a fever, you can consider this a dental emergency. Your emergency dentist will likely prescribe an antibiotic to help clear the infection before it spreads. Depending on the location of the infection, they may also need to extract the infected tooth or perform a root canal.
Your tooth has sharp surfaces.
If you broke a tooth or lost a filling and now there are sharp surfaces in your mouth, then you need to seek dental care ASAP. You would not want to cut your tongue on these surfaces, which is not that hard to do if you go to sleep or eat something. Even if an emergency dentist does not completely fix the issue, they can at least file or cap the sharp spots to remove the immediate risk.
Do you have the number of an emergency dentist on hand? If not, now is a good time to find one. Keep it nearby so you can call if you have any of these problems.
For more information about emergency dental care, contact a local dentist.