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How to Know When It’s a Dental Emergency

WHAM!

               CRACK!

                                CRUNCH!

No, unfortunately you’re not reading a comic book. But if you combine your teeth with any of the onomatopoeia (noun: the formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named) above, there’s a good chance you might be wondering, “Who’s a dentist near me” and “Should I call them to take a look at this?”

Dental emergencies come in all shapes and sizes. Fortunately, some simply seem scarier due to the amount of sheer stress generated when  the CRUNCH or CRACK! that you feel (and hear)  is the result of one of your teeth taking the brunt of the impact during a collision on the sports field or after a nasty fall. But it’s not always easy to know when you need emergency dental care.

So, without further ado: some simple guidelines.

When You Need Immediate Dental Care

The most important thing to remember when it comes to dental emergencies is the fact that no list of  symptoms is comprehensive. If you’re experiencing an issue that isn’t discussed in this article, please don’t hesitate to contact us at your earliest convenience.

  • Excessive bleeding that doesn’t want to stop: If your mouth is bleeding severely, you need to be seen be either your dentist or the emergency room as soon as possible. In many cases, your dentist will recommend you visit an emergency room first.
  • Pus in your mouth: If a sore or injury in your mouth ever begins to emit pus, you should contact your dentist immediately. Pus is a sign of definite infection that your body is having a hard time correcting on its own. Dental intervention such as a root canal treatment is likely.
  • Swelling in your mouth or gums: Swelling can be dangerous, especially when its in your mouth. If swelling isn’t addressed, it can quickly (or gradually) begin to restrict your airway. If your swelling doesn’t appear to be related to any of your teeth or gums, a visit to the emergency room is in order.
  • Traumatic dental injuries:  Here, it is important to remember that “trauma” is objective. While even the smallest chip can seem traumatic to some patients, a traumatic dental injury typically involves a tooth that’s been completely knocked out, cracked, or broken.
  • Infection with a Fever: If you have what appears to be a dental infection accompanied by a fever, you should seek immediate medical care as soon as possible. Generally, an emergency doctor should be seen first to take care of the fever. Following this, your dentist will want to address the underlying cause by locating and treating the infection.

It’s What’s Inside That Matters

Contrary to popular belief, most chipped teeth aren’t dental emergencies. In fact, the difference between a chipped tooth that’s an emergency and one that can wait until you can call your dentist during regular office hours is pretty simple, that difference lies in whether or not your tooth’s “insides” are exposed. If your tooth’s dental pulp is exposed, you should contact your dentist ASAP to prevent infection and other damage. In most cases (and depending on the severity) your dentist will recommend either a porcelain veneer, dental bonding, or a dental crown.

Having an emergency right now? 

Cypress DDS brings together the best dentists in Cypress, CA to offer patients the highest level of care when they need it the most.  If you have questions, concerns, or you’ve just experienced your own dental emergency – we’re here to help.