What Is Considered a Dental Emergency?

April 27, 2021 | Dental Blog,Dental Surgery

Any tooth pain can feel like a dental emergency. Pain or tenderness during chewing can interfere with your ability to eat, talk or sleep. However, most dental problems can wait until the first available dentist’s appointment. There are some conditions beyond the usual aches and pains that require emergency treatment – including after hours or on the weekend.

If any of the following dental emergencies occur, call Dental on Central right away at (602) 266-1776 to schedule an appointment with a Phoenix emergency dentist.

A Chipped or Cracked Tooth With Pain

While a small chip or crack in a tooth is a condition that can typically wait until regular office hours, if the chipped tooth is causing pain, extensive bleeding, extreme sensitivity, or has sharp or jagged edges, it is a dental emergency.

Depending on the severity of the chip, a dentist may simply smooth it out – or it could require filling. If the crack or break in a tooth is near the gum line, it may interfere with the blood supply, damage the nerve or cause an infection. A break like this may be painful and require emergency treatment.

A Knocked-Out Tooth

A tooth that has been knocked out is a dental emergency. A child who has lost a tooth through impact should see a dentist as soon as possible. An adult with a knocked-out tooth should first rinse it under warm water and try to reinsert the tooth before seeing a dentist. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, place it in a glass of milk without touching the root and see an emergency dentist as soon as possible.

An Adult With a Loose Tooth

If you experience one or more loose teeth as an adult, it is an emergency. You should see a dentist as soon as possible so the dentist can try to save the tooth. Avoid wiggling the tooth and eating anything other than soft foods until your emergency dental visit. Treatment will vary depending on the cause of the loose tooth.

Infection or Abscess

Any swollen, hot or tender area near the base of a tooth may be an abscess or pocket of infection and should be treated right away, especially if it is accompanied by severe pain, pus, a foul taste, swollen glands or fever. An abscess can occur due to an injury or untreated cavity.

Swollen Jaw

A swollen jaw without a physical injury may be a sign of an infected salivary gland. Symptoms include fever, difficulty swallowing and eating, trouble opening the mouth, and trouble breathing. Pus or a foul taste in the mouth may also occur. A blocked or infected salivary gland warrants an emergency visit to a dentist for treatment.

Severe Pain

If a toothache causes severe, unbearable pain, an emergency dental visit is in order. If fever accompanies the pain or swelling in the jaw, face or under an eye occurs, it’s further cause to seek immediate treatment. If you’ve already been treated by a dentist but the pain and fever continue after being on oral antibiotics for more than 24 hours, it is an emergency.

Uncontrollable Bleeding

Heavy bleeding in the mouth from the teeth or gums that continues even after applying steady pressure warrants an emergency dental visit, even if the bleeding follows a treatment, extraction or dental procedure.

Since blood mixes with saliva in the mouth, the bleeding may seem heavier than it actually is. If applying pressure with a piece of gauze or a clean cloth for 15 minutes does not stop the bleeding, or you bleed more than one-fourth cup of blood, call a dentist for an emergency visit.

Dental on Central has an emergency dentist on call in Phoenix. We provide emergency dental care and are open on Saturdays. Don’t hesitate to contact us anytime, day or night, if you experience one of these dental emergencies.