When you think of the warning signs for a dental emergency, the first thing that comes to mind is usually a severe toothache. But that’s not the only way for your body to tell you that there’s something wrong in your mouth. There are several indicators of major dental issues, and not all of them are painful. By ignoring these less obvious signs, you could be putting yourself at risk of having more serious problems in the future. While your emergency dentist in Green Hills is still available to treat you, early detection is key to minimizing damage and recovery time. Read on to find out what signs you should be on the lookout for to determine if you have a dental emergency.
1. Inflamed, Bleeding Gums
Bleeding gums are not always a significant issue. Some minor bleeding can occur as a result of brushing too hard. What makes them an emergency case is when they are red, swollen, and consistently bleeding. This can be a sign of an advanced bacterial infection, and immediate treatment is necessary to prevent the loss of teeth and bone in your mouth.
2. Your Tooth Is Loose Or Cracked
Healthy adult teeth shouldn’t move. If you can feel your tooth wiggling when you eat, then it’s likely that the root is damaged. Furthermore, a loose tooth can create gaps in the gum line, providing harmful bacteria with an opening to infect the more sensitive areas of your mouth and enter the bloodstream.
Similarly, teeth with physical damage should not be ignored. While a small chip doesn’t require immediate care, a large fracture can lead to an extremely painful infection if not treated right away.
3. A Dental Abscess On Your Gum Tissue
An abscess is a persistent swollen area on your gums that is usually filled with pus. This is a sign of an infection, and it should be treated urgently before the bacteria spread to other areas.
4. You Taste Metal In Your Mouth
For patients with older metallic crowns, tasting metal indicates that one may have cracked open. Your emergency dentist in Nashville needs to replace it quickly to prevent an infection. In many cases, they can replace the crown with a metal-free one.
5. Your Tooth Feels Numb
A lack of feeling around a tooth deserves attention. The numbness may indicate the death of the nerve inside the tooth, usually due to extreme trauma or infection. A root canal or an extraction may be necessary to prevent further damage.
6. You Have A Sore That Won’t Heal
Small cuts and ulcers like canker sores should heal within two weeks of their first appearance. If they persist beyond that, then it might be a sign of oral cancer. Seeing your dentist right away will let you confirm whether or not this is the actual issue and help you begin the appropriate treatment right away.
Despite the best home care regimen, dental emergencies can still happen. Knowing the warnings signs will prepare you to reach out to your emergency dentist sooner and get out of pain earlier.
About the Author
Dr. James Kirby has been practicing dentistry in the Nashville area for over a decade. His experience, combined with his practice’s advanced technology and sedation options, allows him to treat emergency cases with little discomfort. If you’re concerned that you might have a serious dental issue, you can reach him at his website or at 615-327-2123.