The average person will go their entire life without seeking an emergency dental visit. In most cases, this is because most people don’t get an injury to their teeth and gums that would require immediate care. However, in some cases, people dismiss injuries and wait when, if they knew what was going on medically, they would immediately seek an emergency dentist in Lutherville, MD.
For most people, the thought is, “What counts as a dental emergency? When do I need to see a dentist versus when I can treat my symptoms on my own?” Despite the critical role our mouths play in so much we do each day, most of us don’t know a lot about how gum and mouth health works and how it impacts the rest of our health. At Green Spring Dental Care, we know what your mouth needs and are available to help you with any dental emergency that occurs, any day or time of the week.
A Dental Emergency is When…
The most significant determinant of what counts as a dental emergency is whether or not waiting for treatment will risk creating severe long-term consequences if left untreated. Untreated toothaches can both involve risks that your injury will result in tooth or tissue loss if you wait too long or if the damage presents a risk for more significant illness.
- Some injuries present a severe risk to the health of your teeth. Some injuries can include loosened adult teeth, teeth that have fallen or been knocked out, or a severe crack or fracture in a tooth. While superficial cracks can wait and are usually pain-free, deeper cracks, including those that cause bleeding, leave the more vital parts of your teeth exposed, which can lead to infection or painful cavities if left untreated.
- Bleeding that won’t stop even after cold compress and pressure have been applied is a major warning sign of more severe injury. Typically, this can mean bleeding is taking place where it cannot be entirely addressed by you, like below the gumline. Bleeding that won’t stop indicates that something is seriously wrong, but it also presents a risk of its own to your health in the form of infection. Your mouth is full of bacteria, good and bad, and an open wound is a pathway for that bacteria to get into the rest of your body. Severe infection can occur when bleeding in the mouth is untreated, or treatment is put off because you are unsure if it is an emergency.
Emergency dental care should be immediately sought when a portion of a tooth has chipped off, or an entire tooth has fallen out. A dentist can put the tooth back together and potentially save the tooth entirely if they are seen quickly enough, and all of the missing or chipped teeth have been kept moist, such as being placed in whole milk or inside the cheek or the mouth.
Then What Can Wait Until Regular Business Hours?
Anything that isn’t an emergency can wait until regular business hours. This includes cracks that don’t hurt or gums or teeth that feel some pain after you’ve taken a blow but respond quickly to treatment, and pain disappears. Don’t dismiss seeing a dentist even if you recover quickly, as some minor injuries should be treated so that they don’t become more serious over time or lead to infection.
If you are not sure if you have an emergency, it won’t hurt to call us. With how important your mouth is, it’s better to err on the side of safety. We can tell you on the phone if it would be best to come to see us or if the injury can wait until a scheduled appointment. We can also provide directions for you on taking care of the injury before you can come in.