Sometimes gauging what is a dental emergency can be difficult. You might be uncomfortable, but left wondering whether your pain levels are high enough to constitute an emergency. How much blood is too much blood when it comes to your teeth and gums? Can an emergency dentist even help out in your situation? Those are a few of the questions you’ll need to consider when assessing a potential dental emergency.
Assess Your Pain Levels
Pain might be frustrating to experience, but it’s your body telling you that something is going on. It might not be able to say this in words, but it certainly gets the point across via sensations. Extreme pain is a reliable indicator that something is going on that needs immediate attention. If you’re feeling particularly awful, make sure that you can have someone do the driving for you. You don’t want to try to get to the dentist’s office yourself when you are being blinded by these sensations.
If your pain is a more manageable level, you’ll want to use other symptoms to evaluate the severity of your situation. The next step is to see whether you have a sensitivity to temperatures, such as pain when you drink a hot or cold beverage. Your enamel is not sensitive to these sensations, but the layers underneath it are. You may have holes in the enamel that allow the liquid into the tooth and cause discomfort. While this is an unpleasant feeling, you can typically wait a few days to go to a normal dentist appointment.
Observe the physical appearance of your teeth and gums. Do any teeth look like they’re chipped, broken, or otherwise compromised? Do you have visible holes in the tooth, or gaps between the tooth and the gum? Do you see any raised bumps in the mouth? These can all be a cause of concern, especially if you have a tooth that is missing or an abscess that is warm to the touch or painful.
Are You Bleeding?
Is there any blood in your mouth? Can you pinpoint the place that it’s occurring? Biting down on gauze in the affected area can help stop your mouth from bleeding. In the event that it doesn’t stop, you’re definitely in what is a dental emergency territory. It’s possible that you may need to go to the emergency room over the emergency dentist if it’s particularly bad.
What Other Symptoms Do You Have?
You may be in a situation where you’re deciding between an emergency dentist and the emergency room. If your symptoms primarily deal with your teeth and gums, then the dentist is usually the best option. However, if you have damage to your jaw, face, skull, or other surrounding tissue, then the emergency room may be necessary to treat all of the illnesses or injuries.
Would Waiting to See a Dentist Be Detrimental to Your Oral Health?
The importance of treatment timeliness is another consideration when learning what is a dental emergency. How likely is it that you’re going to have an adverse outcome due to waiting?
Consider some of the following situations:
- Losing a tooth that has been knocked out
- Being in too much pain to perform daily activities
- Being unable to eat or drink
- Being too distracted by pain to work
It’s important to see the dentist as soon as possible in these types of situations.
Getting Help with What is a Dental Emergency
You don’t have to have all of the answers to these questions. If you’re not sure whether you have a situation that requires what is a dental emergency appointment, the best thing to do is to ask your dentist. Some of the other services we offer at Lovett Dental Piney Point include:
You can contact us at 832.430.7364 to discuss your dental concerns and we’ll let you know the best course of action.