Emergency dental visits in the US total around $2 billion a year, and this figure is rising. These are usually for preventative ailments, and any dentist will tell you prevention is better than a cure. However, even the best-kept teeth sometimes encounter emergencies, and you need to know how to deal with them.
Even on the days surgery is closed, you should never put dentistry off. Read on as we discuss when you should visit a weekend dentist.
1. The Pain Is Unbearable
Perhaps you had a busy week and tried to ignore that nagging toothache. Now the weekend has arrived, the pain has increased. You just can’t ignore it any longer.
This is when you should call an emergency dentist. Trying to ignore dental pain is not a good idea. You may have abscesses which can cause damage if they pop.
An abscess is a cavity at the root of the tooth or related to severe gum disease. They can bring on swelling, fevers, and a horrible taste in your mouth. It will need immediate surgery to remove the pus and infection that has taken hold.
There are also multiple other reasons you may have a toothache. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to diagnose this at home. Therefore, you should seek the assistance of a medical professional.
To avoid these situations, you need to practice good dental care. Brush and floss regularly, and avoid sugary and acidic foods. You can try some remedies at home for minor toothaches, though you should always get it checked out as soon as possible.
2. Loose Teeth
As an adult, your teeth should have fully formed with sturdy roots. If they feel loose, something is wrong. So seeing a dentist on the weekends is something you should definitely do, even if you think it may be possible to wait.
An infection may cause this. You will need a complete oral exam and possibly an X-Ray to determine the cause. If it is also causing toothache, then it will only get worse.
Another problem that may cause loose teeth is an injury. This usually occurs through impact, either as an accident or one that happens during a sport. However, it can also be from an injury that occurred a long time ago.
The dentist will check for jaw and nerve damage. After this, they will decide on the correct course of action.
3. The Jaw and Gums Aches
It may not just be the teeth giving you problems. The whole area around it, including the gums and jaw, can also cause pain. They are also covered under the types of dental emergencies.
Bleeding gums and aching after brushing and flossing is a sign of gum disease. You may also notice redness and swelling on the gums. This needs addressing earlier rather than later, as your teeth may never be able to return to normal if the problem is left unchecked.
Swelling in the jaw can also be an issue. It is usually a sign of a salivary gland infection as opposed to gum disease. You may also have a fever, a bad taste in the mouth, and trouble swallowing.
These infections are not expected. But they do inhibit the mouth’s ability to wash away bacteria and breakdown food, so you need to get it checked
4. Something Is Missing
If you have had lots of dental work done in the past, you probably know that it does not last forever. At any point, you may lose crowns or fillings. This exposes the nerve underneath and leaves the tooth open to infection.
In addition, any number of accidents can cause teeth to break or fall out. You may be in an accident, or it could happen when exercising. In these instances, you should wrap the tooth in something that will keep it safe and clean, then visit the best weekend dentist you can find for reattachment.
5. The Tooth is Dead
There are several signs the tooth is dying or even already dead. One is discoloration to yellow or black and blue. Others are loosening of the tooth or pain around it.
The most worrying situation is when the tooth goes numb, particularly after a toothache. This means the infection has spread further down into the root of the tooth. It does not mean the problem has gone away.
In fact, it could mean you need a root canal. This is when the whole nervous system in the tooth needs to be cleaned of infection. In some cases, you may even need a tooth extraction.
6. You Are Fatigued and Have Headaches
Headaches and fatigue can come from any number of sources. However, if you have ruled everything else out and they just won’t reside, the teeth are often the last place people would expect. This is even though the teeth and jaw have lots of nerves closely connected with the head.
One possible reason is that you are grinding your teeth. Many people do this during the night, so they do not even realize it is happening. This places excess strains on the teeth.
As for fatigue, any oral infection will make you tired. The body will work overtime to fight it off. Once again, if you have checked every other avenue, such as getting enough sleep and a good diet, the teeth could be the answer.
Finding a Weekend Dentist
Now you know the many reasons you should visit a weekend dentist, you need to find one in the local area. Ask friends and family who they have used or check online for reviews. Once you find one, keep their number safe in case the time comes when you need them.
Your first stop should be Boise Family Dental Care. We can provide all types of dentistry, from cosmetic to emergency care. Contact us here to book an appointment or let us help with your next dental emergency.