Are You Experiencing a Dental Emergency?

Dental Emergency Maidenhead - Bourne End Dental

Dental care is one of the most often overlooked areas of the healthcare system, with many people putting off a trip to the dentist for weeks, months, and sometimes years. Of course, during this time, the problem usually worsens, and creates a permanent issue that could’ve been easily fixed, had they sought help in time.

Then there are the things you really can’t (or shouldn’t) postpone, which are dental emergencies. In this article, Bourne End Dental explains just what constitutes a dental emergency, and what you should do if you’re experiencing one.


What is a dental emergency?

Sometimes, it can be difficult to see the difference between a medical emergency, or a regular health issue. In general, if you’re experiencing dental pain, it would probably be a good idea to seek out medical help at your earliest convenience, but there are some symptoms that qualify it as a dental emergency:

  • Infection – as in any other area of the body, infection can be a life-threatening condition. Feel around your gums with your tongue. If you notice unusual warmth, knot-like swelling, and pain, it might be a sign of a tooth infection which, left untreated, can spread to the rest of the body, chiefly the brain.
  • Bleeding – we’re not talking about spitting out a little blood when you brush one time, since that usually results from a small injury. We’re talking about dental bleeding that you can’t control or stop.
  • Severe Pain – if you’re experiencing pain in your mouth that makes speaking, eating, or other normal activities difficult or impossible, it’s considered severe pain, and should be treated without delay.
  • Lost Tooth – if your tooth has been knocked out as the result of a sharp blow to the mouth, seek out dental help immediately, as this may help save your tooth.

What isn’t a dental emergency?

It’s natural to panic whenever you’re experiencing pain or discomfort, but not all dental complaints are emergencies or need to be treated as such. For instance, we mentioned that if you’re experiencing severe pain, you should seek out immediate help. However, if you’re only bothered by a mild-moderate toothache, this can probably wait until a later appointment. If the pain is constant and is having an impact on your life, you may want to schedule a dental appointment as early as possible, though it probably won’t relate to an emergency.

Similarly, if you have a slightly chipped tooth, while it’s worrying, it doesn’t mean it’s an emergency. Unless the chipped tooth is causing serious pain (or there are sharp bits of tooth lodged in your mouth), you probably don’t need to seek out emergency care.

Lastly, a missing filling or dental crown, while serious, is not an emergency either. We recommend contacting your regular dentist, and explaining the situation, if unsure what to do. If you determine you’re experiencing a dental emergency, you may also call your local emergency line for assistance.

Remember, it’s important to act swiftly for best results, and improved dental health.