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Is My Dental Problem an Emergency?

You only get one set of teeth. Taking care of them is important, but accidents happen. Maybe you woke up with a mysterious toothache, or maybe you suffered an acute facial injury. You could find yourself facing a dental emergency, and you need to know what to do.

Not every dental problem requires emergency care, but in some situations, acting quickly is your best chance to prevent lasting damage to your teeth and mouth. Knocked-out teeth, large chips and cracks, and abscessed teeth are just a few examples of potential dental emergencies.

If you have significant tooth pain or bleeding in your mouth, those are signs you should seek emergency dental care — and Maple Leaf Dental in Houston, Texas is here for you. Lisa Giovanetti, DDS, MS, and our team have same-day appointments available and the experience to treat your dental condition promptly.

Signs of a dental emergency

Toothaches are common. It’s not always easy to know if your condition warrants an immediate trip to the dentist or if you can wait a few days for your appointment, but the symptoms you’re experiencing can help you decide.

Consider scheduling an emergency dentist appointment if you have:

Significant oral pain or bleeding

Pain is often your greatest indicator that you’re experiencing a dental emergency. Significant pain or bleeding that doesn’t stop within a few minutes are both signs you need prompt care.

Abscessed teeth are a common cause of intense tooth pain, and they may be life-threatening without treatment. A dental abscess occurs when part of your tooth gets infected. Along with pain, symptoms of a tooth infection may include:

  • Bumps on your gums
  • Facial swelling
  • Fever
  • Tooth sensitivity

Some dental conditions, like chips and cracks, may not require emergency care if they aren’t causing pain. But a large chip or crack can cause significant pain, and you shouldn’t wait to make an appointment.

Knocked-out tooth

An accident that breaks or loosens your teeth — or makes them fall out completely — is always considered a dental emergency. Adults should never lose teeth, so loose and lost teeth necessitate prompt medical care. Acting quickly and carefully could save your tooth.

If you knock out a tooth, carefully pick it up by the top, or crown. Don’t touch the underside, or root, as this could permanently damage it. Brush off visible dirt, but don’t rinse it with water.

Put the tooth back in its socket inside your mouth, if possible. If you can’t put the tooth in your mouth, hold it between your gums and cheek, or place it in a small container of milk or saliva.

Go to the emergency dentist as soon as possible after losing the tooth. Seeking immediate care increases the likelihood that we can reinsert and save your natural tooth. 

What to do in a dental emergency

While tooth pain is common, it isn’t normal. Make a dentist appointment any time you notice tooth pain or other oral health concerns; our team can help you get the treatment you need.

If you find yourself with a dental emergency, schedule an emergency dentist appointment as soon as possible. If you can’t get to the emergency dentist, go to the nearest emergency room, or call 911.

Dr. Giovanetti provides on-the-spot care for many types of dental emergencies. We start by examining your teeth and gums, and we can perform X-rays or additional testing as needed.

We’re experienced in repairing chips and cracks, treating loose or knocked-out teeth, and fixing damaged fillings, crowns, and dentures. We also do extractions to treat abscesses, and we’re proud to provide comprehensive follow-up care for our emergency dentistry patients.

When you’re dealing with tooth pain, bleeding, or other serious symptoms, don’t wait to seek dental treatment. Schedule an appointment online to learn more about our emergency dentistry services at Maple Leaf Dental, or call our office at (281) 497-5558 for the next available appointment.

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