As a general rule of thumb, you should visit your dentist for regular cleanings and check-ups every sixth months. While there, they will check for cavities, signs of tooth decay or plaque and possible gum ailments. But besides your regularly scheduled appointments, what problems or emergencies require dental attention?
Chipped or Broken Tooth
While this may seem obvious, you would be surprised how many people wait for weeks or months before seeing a dentist about a chipped tooth, especially if it is in the back of the mouth. Chips or breaks can vary in severity, but should always be seen by a dentist as soon as possible. Try to keep the broken piece moist, if possible, by placing it in a damp cloth, as the dentist may be able to fix the area without using any artificial fillers or replacement teeth.
Large areas of redness or swelling in your gums will usually require a dental visit. Although it could just be irritation, it is best to see if the root of your problems is gingivitis, an abscess or periodontitis. The quicker these problems are addressed, the easier, cheaper and more pain free the solution will be.
If you begin experiencing intense pain by your ear or a popping sensation when your jaw opens and closes, you may be experiencing temporomandibular joint syndrome. This occurs when your jaw becomes inflamed or starts to deteriorate, and it will need to be examined and treated by a dental professional. Depending on the severity of the pain, this might not be an emergency, but you will need a mouth guard to stop future damage.
A telltale sign that you need to see a dentist is the existence of a toothache or pain that is preventing you from eating or simply going about your daily life. Other factors to consider are whether you have a fever, swollen gums, swelling or redness. If the pain increases in severity when exposed to hot or cold, it is most likely just a cavity, but an appointment should be made within the next few days to ensure decay doesn't spread.
Although many people find dental procedures frightening or unpleasant, the quicker you see your dentist, the fewer problems you will have in the future. The best tip is not to wait. Having a family dentist will ensure you have the right treatment whenever emergency dental services are needed.Share