Regular dental check-ups are essential in maintaining good oral health but it also gives your dentist a chance to pick up on any dental issues that are in the early stages.
However, there are times where you might experience a sharp pain or a nagging toothache that simply won’t go away, this is when you should consider seeing a dentist right away.
Dental emergencies are no jokes. Things such as infections not only affect your oral health, but if left untreated, can jeopardize your overall health and wellbeing.
If you’re experiencing pain, bleeding, swelling or any unusual symptoms it might be time to pay your dentist a visit.
In this article we define what symptoms can be classed as an emergency and when should you seek immediate medical attention.
1. If your gums are inflamed, red or bleeding
The most common signs of gum disease is bleeding. If you notice signs of swollen or bleeding gums every time you brush or eat, it’s important to book an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
At an early stage, gum disease, also known as gingivitis, can be simply treated in-chair with a clean and scale, removing any built-up plaque. If left untreated, can result in deterioration of gum tissue, and in more advanced stages, periodontitis and loss of teeth.
2. If you chip, crack or lose a tooth
Cracking, chipping or losing a tooth due to an accident will require an emergency trip to the dentist. If left untreated, can cause extreme pain and sensitivity, but it also allows for bacteria to enter the tooth, possibly leading to an infection.
3. If you notice pus in your mouth
Pus is the first sign of an infection or gum abscess and must be addressed immediately. If left untreated, the infection can spread resulting in more serious problems.
In extreme cases, bacteria from an abscessed tooth can spread to other parts of the body that can lead to sepsis, which can be fatal.
Treatment for infections can include antibiotics, may include root therapy to prevent further complications.
4. If you have consistent bad breath
Apart from being embarrassing, bad breath could also be the result of a more serious health issue.
Persistent bad breath can be a sign of a number of things, from gum disease, an infection, to any sort of metabolic disorder including diabetes, acid reflux, and even cancer. To ensure it’s none of these, it’s best to visit your dentist immediately.
5. If you have a constant bad taste in your mouth
If you’re currently experiencing a persistent bad taste in your mouth and it’s not from something you ate or drank it can be another sign something is up.
A constant foul taste in your mouth could be the result of an abscessed or infected tooth, gingivitis, respiratory infections such as tonsillitis or a cold, or wisdom teeth erupting. Infections emit toxins from the tooth itself which is what causes the foul taste.
A metallic taste can also be side effects of medication or hormonal changes, specifically in women. If you notice a foul taste that doesn’t seem to be going away, keep an eye out for other signs or book in an appointment with your dentist.
6. Tooth discolouration
It’s quite a common occurrence that our teeth become yellow or discoloured over time due to consuming teeth-staining drinks such as coffee, wine, and tea. This sort of discolouration can be taken care of with a simple teeth whitening session.
However, if you start to notice a tooth or teeth change colour from yellow to a darkish brown or grey, it could be an indication that the pulp inside the tooth has begun to decay. This is a major sign that there is an infection.
If you notice any pus coming out from the tooth, it is vital that you see your emergency dentist immediately, ignoring this issue can be fatal.
7. If you notice sharp pains
Experiencing sharp pains generally means something isn’t right with your tooth. Depending on the severity of the pain, it could be a cavity that has developed or in extreme cases, an abscessed tooth.
If the tooth has become infected, you’ll need to seek medical treatment immediately as the tooth may likely need to be extracted, or at the very least have the infected area drained and cleaned.
If you know you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms or signs, you should book an emergency dental appointment as soon as possible. Ignoring these signs not only results in extensive and costly dental treatments, but it also puts your health at risk. You can book an emergency dental appointment at Alpha Dental today or book in a regular visit to ensure your oral health is in tip-top shape.
Have you experienced any of these signs? Book an appointment so we can get to the bottom of this!