Outside of your twice-annual checkups and visiting your dentist for a toothache, there are some other reasons to see your dentist. You should consider these situations emergencies and seek help from your dentist as soon as possible.
Infection or Abscessed Tooth
While many sources of pain in your mouth aren't necessarily emergencies, having a severe infection is. You know it is an infection when multiple teeth or an entire area of your mouth all hurts at the same time. A single toothache is fairly obvious, as it is throbbing or hurts when it is exposed to hot or cold temperatures. However, with an infection, it is sometimes hard to pinpoint the exact tooth. If you have an abscessed tooth, you may see a sore on the gums outside of that tooth. With infections, you may also have swelling on that side of your cheek.
Loss of Blood Clot Following Extraction
After you get a tooth pulled, a blood clot forms in the empty socket, which protects it from infection. If this blood clot is accidentally dislodged too early, also known as dry socket, it can be extremely painful. The socket is wide open, leaving the nerves inside the socket open to air and debris. This pain can start getting worse, so if the blood clot comes out, go to the hospital or to your dentist as soon as possible so you can get treatment. In the future, avoid the loss of a blood clot by not using a straw or smoking cigarettes following a tooth extraction.
Knocked Out Tooth
If you have a tooth knocked out, it can be considered an urgent situation. You might have pieces of the tooth still lodged in the gums, or the open socket could get infected. Make sure you call up your dentist as soon as this happens, and they will let you know what can be done. If only part of a tooth broke off, you might be able to get it fixed by bonding it back to your natural tooth. Either way, you need to treat this like an emergency.
Broken Crown or Bridge
Another urgent dental situation is when a crown or part of your dental bridge breaks. The reason a broken crown can be urgent is because it makes your natural tooth underneath susceptible to breaking. If this happens, you won't be able to get the crown back on, but might instead need to extract the rest of the tooth and get a dental implant in its place. Try to put the crown back on temporarily with dental adhesive, then get to your dentist as soon as possible.
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