5 Signs of a Dental Emergency

When your teeth are in trouble, you need to know that your dental team is ready and available to help. Dr. Michael Muscato and the team at Able Dental Care in Phoenix, Arizona, specialize in providing quality emergency dentistry to adults and children. No matter what your dental concern, you can get a same-day appointment and quality treatment to get you back on track. 

Generally speaking, anything that requires prompt attention can be considered a dental emergency. While a simple toothache might not seem as serious as a knocked-out tooth, the pain is often a warning sign of decay or an underlying infection. Left untreated, the pain can get worse, but more importantly, it could also put your teeth and gums at risk.

Here’s what you need to know about notable signs of a dental emergency:

1. Loose tooth

A loose tooth is one of the most common dental emergencies. In adults, a loose tooth is usually caused either by traumatic impact injuries, such as a fall or a hard hit during contact sports, or by periodontal disease. In children, it’s most common to occur during sports.

Other than trying to lightly push your loose tooth back into its socket, try not to touch the tooth, as any kind of motion usually makes things worse. And, even if you think your tooth can’t be saved and will have to be pulled, never try it yourself. Not only will it be a painful experience, but your attempt just increases your risk of infection from improper tooth extraction.

Dr. Muscato usually treats teeth that come loose from an impact with a dental splint. Splints attach the loose tooth to your surrounding, sturdy teeth, holding it in place until the root heals and anchors itself to the socket. If your tooth is seriously damaged, however, or if it’s beyond repair, he may have to extract it.

Dr. Muscato usually treats loose teeth caused by periodontal disease with a deep cleaning, which removes plaque and tartar and reduces gum inflammation.

2. Knocked-out permanent tooth

If your permanent tooth gets knocked out, and you need to see Dr. Muscato within an hour of the injury for the best chances of saving your tooth. It’s likely your tooth has root damage and needs immediate care.

Take the following steps while making your way to see Dr. Muscato:

3. Bleeding gums or cheeks, especially if intense

Any type of internal oral tissue injury, such as puncture wounds or lacerations to your lips, cheeks, mouth, and tongue, is considered a dental emergency. Clean the area immediately with warm water. If your tongue is bleeding, pull it forward and use gauze to put pressure on the wound. Get to your dentist, an oral surgeon, or a nearby hospital emergency room as quickly as you can — whichever takes the least amount of time.

4. Severe mouth or tooth pain

Generally, a broken or chipped tooth isn't a dental emergency, and as long as it isn't causing pain or bleeding, you can make an appointment with Dr. Muscato for the next day. 

However, if your tooth is bleeding, radiates intense pain, or is causing injury to the inside of your mouth, it’s a dental emergency. The pain may be an indication of an irritated or dying nerve or an infection. 

Dr. Muscato may be able to use a dental resin to restore your tooth's integrity if it’s just broken, but if you have an injury to your tooth root or gums, he may need to perform a root canal or another intensive treatment.

5. Oral infection or abscess

A severe infection of your gums or an abscess (pus-filled pocket) in your mouth can be life-threatening and needs immediate attention. Oral infections have the ability to impact your overall health, including your heart health. Dr. Muscato may be able to perform the first stage of a root canal, or he’ll refer you to an endodontist (root canal specialist) who will open your tooth and allow the abscess to drain.

If you’re having a dental emergency, call our office at 602-904-8193 to let us know you’re on the way, book online, or just walk in. We’re here to help, no matter how serious the problem.

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