You wake up in the middle of the night with a toothache. The pain is bothersome, but how do you know if you should start looking for 24-hour dentists? Here are signs that you should seek emergency dental care:
1. Your tooth gets knocked out
If you fall or get hit in the face, and your tooth gets knocked out, you need to see a dentist immediately. A tooth can be saved within one hour after it falls out. If you can find your tooth, don't touch the root. You may accidentally damage it. Rinse the tooth with water and store it in milk or contact solution. If milk or saline solution aren't available, place the tooth in your mouth back in it's place. These measures keep the root moist and boost the chances that the tooth can be saved. Seek a 24-hour dentist immediately.
2. Your tooth breaks or cracks
If your tooth breaks into pieces, you need to see an emergency dentist right away. If there is bleeding, swelling, and excessive pain, pieces of the tooth may be lodged into your gums. These pieces can lead to infections and damage to the gums. A dentist can extract the pieces. A cracked tooth can also lead to infection if it is not treated right away. Rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold washcloth to your face to help the pain.
3. Persistent Toothache
Not all toothaches are emergencies. Some toothaches are a result of teeth sensitivity or from minor injuries like burns from hot coffee. But, if your toothaches keeps you from eating or drinking properly, or prevents you from being able to brush your teeth, you need to see a dentist right away. If the pain lasts for several days, this can be a sign of decay or even an infection. If the toothache is accompanied with nausea, shortness of breath, or pain in the chest or shoulder, seek emergency medical care. These can be signs of a heart attack.
4. A tooth moves out of alignment
If your tooth pops out of alignment, this needs to be dealt with right away. A tooth moving out of alignment can be a sign that your teeth are loose. Loose teeth are a sign of a serious disease called periodontal disease. Periodontal disease causes loss of gum and bone tissue and can lead to tooth loss. To save your teeth, seek emergency dental care right away. If you can, ease the tooth back into alignment. Don't force it, or it may come out.
These are four ways to know if your dental problem is an emergency. If you are experiencing any of these issues, call your dentist right away.