Are Your Teeth A Little Banged Up?

We are familiar with the age old principle, Murphy’s Law.  Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.  This applies to everything in life and our teeth and gums are not excluded.  Our emergency dentist team know that accidents happen every day.  They can be big or small.  It might be something minor where you mistakenly bit on something hard that wasn’t supposed to be in your food.  Maybe you had a long day and were in such a rush to eat your meal you’ve bitten down too hard on your fork.  It happens.  It could even be a major incident like oral and facial trauma from sporting or other injuries.

Whatever the cause may be, direct trauma that results in a broken tooth or cut on the gum is easy to understand.  However pain and swelling that seems to happen out of the blue is often more difficult to understand, but is usually caused by an underlying problem.  Our bodies are good at letting us know when something is not quite right by providing us with a feeling.  Unfortunately, this feeling usually comes in the form of pain.  Sometimes your symptoms may be mild and go away by themselves.  Sometimes the symptoms are obvious and severe and you know it’s time for action.

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Don't Just Walk It Off!

Mild irritation or discomfort in the tongue or cheeks is one way your body might let you know something is wrong.  You could be finding your teeth are more sensitive to temperature or pressure when biting.  Symptoms like this may come and go.  This doesn’t mean you should ignore them.  Your body is letting you know there is a problem.  It’s giving you a courtesy warning that if something isn’t done soon you’ll be in some serious trouble.  This is most likely the best time to come in and see a dentist.  After a quick checkup we’ll be able to identify the cause and catch the issue while it is still fairly minor.  It may be some early tooth decay or gum disease.  We’ll be able to take care of that in no time.

If you do ignore your body, you can bet things are going to get worse over time.  All of a sudden that sensitivity to temperature you were experiencing now applies to all liquids and foods.  You may only be able to eat certain things.  You could have an abscess in the mouth with this large infection causing you enormous pain.  Your jaw could be aching.  Serious tooth issues can really knock you out.  Headaches, nausea and even vomiting are symptoms of a serious dental emergency.  Almost every time a patient comes in with a serious issue, we can tell that if they came in a few months earlier we would have been able to treat the problem without all the pain and discomfort.  In most cases, we also would have been able to save more of your teeth and gums.

Am I In The Middle Of An Emergency?

Any unexpected symptom occurring in your mouth should be treated as an emergency.  Here are some examples of common emergency dental situations:

  • Any pain, discomfort, strange feelings in the mouth
  • Sensitivity to cold, hot or sweet things
  • Your jaw aches
  • You are in severe pain
  • You have chipped or broken a tooth, filling or crown
  • Trauma has occurred to your face or mouth
  • You have a gum swelling or an abscess
  • You feel numbness or a pins and needles sensation
  • You have a lot of bleeding in the mouth
  • You cannot open your mouth much compared to normally
  • You have a very bad taste that is not going away
  • You have had an ulcer for longer than 2 weeks or it keeps coming back

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You Can't Have An Emergency Without Something Emerging!

This really is the most important thing to remember.  Emergencies come in all shapes and sizes, and occur for an unlimited amount of reasons.  The key is to pay attention to your body and recognise the signs when the problems are emerging.  Those minor discomforts you are experiencing is your super intelligent body bringing your dental issues to the light.  It’s helping you be aware of the problem.  The more you ignore the issue, the more serious it will become and the more urgently your body will want the problem resolved.

So here we are.  We had some problems emerge, we ignored them, now things have escalated and we have to address them with more urgency.  We now have a serious emergency.  No matter what situation you find yourself in, unexpected pain and discomfort should be addressed fast.  A small ache is still an emergency.  It’s just not as serious as constant pain.  Anything that goes on in your mouth that you didn’t anticipate needs your care and attention.  Come in as soon as you can.  We understand and can fit you in.  We’ll make you comfortable while we work out the issue and then take the steps to correct it.  If you are in severe pain, we will help  ease that pain while we restore your dental health to working order.