When you think of medical emergencies, images of calling 911 and getting in an ambulance come to mind. However, teeth may present their own set of emergencies as well.

What are dental emergencies?

Any dental issue that requires immediate treatment in order to avoid becoming potentially life-threatening is a dental emergency. In order to know if what you are feeling is an emergency, make sure to read on to look out for these signs and symptoms:

  • You are having bleeding that will not stop
  • You feel pain in on around your mouth, in a tooth of in your jaw
  • You have a broken tooth or one that has been knocked out
  • Your gum is swollen and infected

There is, however, a secondary set of symptoms that, although not life-threatening can be described as urgent when it comes to dental health. Here are some of them:

  • Abscess
  • Localized infection or swelling
  • Dental trauma resulting in a lost tooth
  • Tooth fractures with pain
  • Broken or lost temporary restoration
  • Painful cavities or tooth decay

Neither one of the above lists includes every possible scenario or situation. The best guide is your own feelings. If something doesn’t feel or look right, contact your trusted dentist right away and decide on the most appropriate course of action.

Are there any dental issues that can wait?

You don’t need to schedule an immediate visit to your dentist if:

  • What you need is a routine exam, X-rays or dental cleaning
  • You are interested in a cosmetic procedure such as teeth whitening
  • If you have a cavity that does not cause pain

Obviously, it’s never a good idea to postpone any type of dental or medical treatment, however, the current pandemic has forced many people to rethink whether what they are feeling is considered an emergency or not. Always err on the side of caution and call your dentist or healthcare professional to discuss your particular situation and come up with the most appropriate solution.

When do cavities become emergencies?

Sometimes, a situation that seemed minor and inconsequential during the day, turns into a night of horror that robs you of your sleep, filling you with excruciating pain. That may be because, no matter how careful you try to be with eating during the day when the pain is manageable, grinding your teeth while sleeping can result in a fractured tooth that could have been fixed earlier.

Other times you may feel pain in a tooth and opt for an over-the-counter numbing gel. You know, though, that this is only a temporary solution and the underlying condition is still there and will only get worse if left untreated.

Book a dental appointment as soon as you start feeling pain. Your dentist may recommend dental sealants that prevent cavities from forming. Other symptoms will necessitate a visit to your dentist’s office, such as:

  • Sensitivity to temperature – either hot or cold
  • Pain in teeth or gums
  • Swollen gums
  • General discomfort when chewing or biting

Are you looking for the best dental team in North Carolina?

Park Crossing Dentistry in Charlotte, North Carolina, and its team of dental experts is ready to take care of all of your dental needs. You and your loved ones can rest assured that you will be able to access the full range of dental services that you require. Visit parkcrossingdentistry.com today.

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "Are cavities considered a dental emergency?," in Medicalopedia, August 15, 2020, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/9160/are-cavities-considered-a-dental-emergency/].