Oral disease affects nearly 3.5 billion people worldwide! In fact, untreated tooth decay is now the most common health condition in the world. About 1 billion people are affected by oro-dental trauma, with another 1 billion struggling with gum disease.

Despite how common oral health issues have become, many people don’t know when to seek help from emergency dentists. Here are seven signs you need to seek emergency dental care.

Knowing how to recognize these issues could save a tooth or help you avoid complications. Read on to learn more. 

1. A Severe Toothache

Mild to moderate pain doesn’t usually indicate you’re experiencing a dental emergency. However, you should seek treatment if you experience:

  • Pain that persists for more than a day
  • Severe pain and discomfort
  • Pain that wakes you up at night
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • A fever

These symptoms may indicate you’ve sustained damage from an untreated cavity or infection. About 26% of adults ages 20 to 44 and 25% between the ages of 45 and 64 have untreated cavities. Both issues require immediate dental care.

Let your dentist know if these symptoms are accompanied by swelling below your jaw, eyes, or other areas of the face. You might also experience bleeding that doesn’t slow down or stop with pressure. 

If you experience constant, severe pain, don’t hesitate to visit the best dentist in Greensboro, NC for treatment. They can determine the root cause of your pain by scheduling X-rays and completing a visual exam. 

2. A Foul Taste

A metallic taste in your mouth might indicate you have a filling that’s become loose or cracked.

Fillings are not permanent dental solutions. It’s normal for them to fail or fall out over time. However, it’s important to replace a broken or loose filling as soon as possible.

Otherwise, bacteria could spread, leading to an infection or cavity.

A foul taste in your mouth might also indicate gum disease. Gum disease (gingivitis) develops due to a bacterial infection, leading to inflammation of the gums. If left untreated, the infection can become more severe, leading to periodontitis.

Gum disease can cause tooth loss in adults when left untreated. 

Other symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Sensitivity
  • Red, tender, or swollen gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Gums that have pulled away from your teeth
  • Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
  • Foul-smelling breath that doesn’t go away after brushing
  • Partial dentures that don’t fit
  • Pain when chewing
  • A change in how your teeth fit together
  • Pus between your teeth and gums

If these symptoms sound familiar, don’t hesitate to visit your local dentist right away. Gingivitis is reversible in the early stages. 

3. Your Jaw is Popping

If your law becomes locked or you experience a popping sensation when chewing, seek emergency dental care. Your dentist might determine you have a temporomandibular joint disorder (TJD). Symptoms can include:

  • Toothaches
  • Tinnitus
  • Earaches
  • Jaw popping or clicking
  • Shoulder or neck pain
  • Jaw pain
  • Facial pain
  • Difficulty opening or closing your mouth
  • Stiffness in your jaw
  • Headaches or migraines

There are non-surgical treatments available, including physical therapy, mouthguard, and ultrasound therapy. When left untreated, you could experience chronic pain, bruxism, or limited chewing function. Bruxism can cause your protective tooth enamel to wear away, leading to cavities. 

4. A Cracked/Broken Tooth

A cracked or broken tooth requires immediate treatment. Your dentist will determine the best treatment option based on the location and severity of the tooth. 

Receiving immediate dental care could save your tooth. Make sure to let your dentist know how you injured the tooth during your appointment. 

A dental abscess can develop due to a broken or chipped tooth. An abscess won’t heal on its own. The infection can spread to your jaw and gums when left untreated, causing further decay. 

You could experience a fever or notice a foul taste in your mouth. If you experience these symptoms, talk to your local dentist as soon as possible. Seeking emergency dental care will ensure the infection is drained and treated.

5. A Growth or Sore

Visit your local dentist right away if you notice a growth in your mouth. A minor canker sore should go away in a week or two. If the sore doesn’t go away on its own, it could indicate an infection, chronic condition, or oral cancer. 

Let your dentist know if the sore:

  • Isn’t healing or going away
  • Is accompanied by swelling
  • Is accompanied by a fever
  • Makes it difficult for you to eat/drink
  • Is unusually large
  • Is getting bigger

In the meantime, make sure to visit your Greensboro dentist every six months for regular appointments. Routine appointments will ensure regular cancer screenings. Your dentist could become your first line of defense. 

6. Swelling

Swelling could indicate you have an infection, which could become life-threatening if left unattended. Visit your Greensboro right away to determine the root cause of the problem. Let them know if you’re experiencing swelling in the face, gums, or lymph nodes.

When left untreated, the infection can spread into your bloodstream, leading to more extensive issues. 

Let your dentist know how long you’ve experienced swelling and where it’s located. 

7. Bleeding

You might notice your gums bleed when you brush or floss your teeth. Bleeding gums are a sign of gingivitis. 

Remember, it’s important to treat gingivitis right away. Once the disease spreads, it becomes more difficult to return your teeth and gums to a healthy state. 

Visit Emergency Dentists Right Away

If these situations sound familiar, don’t hesitate to find emergency dentists in your area. Visiting a dentist right away will ensure you receive the help you need. They could save a tooth or help you avoid more extensive oral health issues. 

The next time you experience an issue that’s causing swelling, bleeding, or severe pain, seek help. 

Need immediate dental care? We’re here for you.

Contact us today to get the help you need.