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May 7, 2019

Do I Have a Dental Emergency? An Emergency Dentist Discusses Symptoms to Watch For

Filed under: Uncategorized — tntadmin @ 8:43 pm

close up mouth pain

If you have a minor dental problem, like swelling or a sore tooth, it can easy to write it off as unimportant. You might think you don’t really need to go to the dentist. However, symptoms like that, though they seem insignificant, can become larger issues if left untreated. See your emergency dentist right away if you experience any of these problems.

Severe and Persistent Toothache

Toothaches don’t just happen for no reason. In addition to being painful, distracting, and inconvenient, they can indicate a serious issue like an infection in the tooth or root. Left untreated, an infection could damage your tooth and you could end up needing root canal therapy or even extraction.

If you have a toothache that lasts longer than 3 or 4 days, contact your dentist immediately. However, in the meantime, there are a few things you can do to provide some relief:

  • Floss around the tooth to make sure nothing is stuck between the teeth that could be causing pain.
  • Rinse your mouth out with warm water.
  • Take over-the-counter painkillers, but do NOT touch it directly to the tooth or gum surfaces as that could further irritate the area.

Loose Teeth

Wiggling teeth are cute when you’re a kid, but once you’re an adult they should stay firmly in place. Loose teeth can be a sign of a serious dental problem, such as:

  • Gum disease. When plaque forms around the gumline, it can cause bacteria to build up. The gum tissue becomes inflamed and pulls away from the tooth, leaving it feeling loose. Bacteria can then travel into those gaps and cause infection in other parts of your body.
  • Teeth grinding. Many of us grind or clench our teeth at night, and because we’re unconscious, we don’t even know it! If your loose tooth is accompanied by jaw pain and headaches, ask your dentist if they think you grind your teeth.

The moment you feel a loose tooth, let your dentist know. If they treat it early enough, the tooth can very likely be saved.

Painful Swelling

Swelling in your jaw and mouth is often a sign of a tooth or gum infection, especially if it’s also painful. It could be a sign of gum disease or an abscess, a pocket of pus caused by a bacterial infection in the mouth. Since an abscess will not go away on its own, it’s important to see your dentist right away to stop it from spreading to other areas of the body.


There’s a common joke involving a dentist saying, “you’re bleeding because you don’t floss.” As much as we joke about it, bleeding while flossing is not normal and often means a serious problem is afoot. Generally, it’s a sign of early gum disease.

Seeing your dentist at the first sign of bleeding gums is the most important thing you can do. Catching gum disease early is key to keeping your gums and teeth intact and healthy. The sooner you let your dentist know of your symptoms, the more easily treatable the condition is.

Many people might avoid the dentist’s office because of anxiety that they’ll need extensive treatment. However, putting off a visit to your emergency dentist will only increase your likelihood of requiring serious treatment later. By making the appointment, you can nip these problems in the bud. You’ll have a happier and healthier mouth!

About the Author

Dr. Metzger sees every patient as an opportunity to make a new friend, and to help that friend improve their smile. That’s why she forges a relationship with each patient at Monet Aesthetic Dentistry to make them feel more welcome and comfortable. If you call the office with a dental emergency, Dr. Metzger will shift her schedule around to see you as soon as possible to help you save your smile! For more information, click here or call (248)-476-3410.

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