It is essential to know when a toothache can become a dental emergency. Accidents can happen at any time, but you should know what kinds of injuries and dental conditions require an emergency visit and which ones can wait until the dentist’s regular business hours. Simply speaking, a dental emergency may entail a dental problem such as severe pain, bleeding, infection, or a tooth that’s broken or at risk of falling out. Here are some signs that you need emergency dental services: 

Loose tooth 

In order to speak and eat normally, you need structurally sound teeth. If you have had a sports injury, a fall, or any other type of accident and your tooth feels loose or wiggly, it is definitely a dental emergency. However, injury is not the only reason your tooth may become loose. Severe infection that has weakened the surrounding tissue and nerves can also cause the tooth to loosen from its socket. Regardless of the reason, a loose tooth always needs immediate medical attention.  

Swollen jaw 

If you have a swollen jaw along with other symptoms such as fever, trouble swallowing, and a bad taste in the mouth, you should seek emergency dental care. It is likely a case of an advanced stage of gum disease-periodontitis or advanced periodontitis. The jaws become swollen when the tooth decay progresses and reaches the roots. The sooner you get treatment, the better it is.  

Severe toothache 

Mild or moderate toothache is usually not a cause of serious concern. Something stuck between the teeth can also cause toothache. Thorough brushing and flossing can help this pain. However, when the pain persists beyond 1-2 days, you should speak to your dentist. If the pain is severe and is accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever and difficulty swallowing or breathing, it should be treated as a dental emergency.  

Bleeding gums 

If your teeth bleed when brushing or flossing, it could be a sign of early gum disease or gingivitis. This is not a dental emergency. However, it is not something you should ignore. You should see your dentist at the earliest and seek treatment. If the bleeding is a result of injury or laceration, and you cannot stop the bleeding, it is a dental emergency. If your gum bleeding and pain are not improving and you have other symptoms such as swelling, fever, or chills, seek emergency dental care immediately.  

Stiff jaws 

If your jaws feel stiff or tight, or sore, it could be a sign of temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ). It is a condition in which the joint connecting the lower and upper jaw is inflamed. Other TMJ symptoms are ear pain, facial pain, and difficulty swallowing. If you have any of these symptoms, you should get emergency dental care immediately.  

Metallic taste in the mouth 

If you have had a metal filling in one of your teeth, and all of a sudden, your mouth starts tasting like metal, it could be a sign that your filling has become loose and has cracked. Open fillings can leave your tooth susceptible to infections, so it must be fixed readily.  

A sore that won’t go away 

Canker sores are common and nothing to be worried about. These white ulcers that develop inside the mouth, such as the tongue, cheeks, and gums, usually go away on their own in a few days. However, if they don’t seem to be healing, are growing bigger, and are accompanied by swelling or fever, it could be a sign of something more serious.  

If you have any of these symptoms, call us right away, and we will ensure that you get the urgent care you need.  

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