At OnCall Dental in Fresno CA, we know that it can sometimes be hard to discern what is or isn’t an emergency. As we’ve said on our blog before (and as we’ll probably say again), if it feels like an emergency, then we encourage our patients to treat it as one. Your body knows more than it lets on; if it is sending you signals of discomfort, pain, stress, anxiety, or weakness, then you should listen.
A lot of emergencies can start out as seemingly minor nuisances. A swollen gum that you think is simply caused by food debris can actually be indicative of gum disease, for example. For this reason, and in order to keep our patients educated, we have put together a simple list of emergencies that are often misidentified as minor problems.
Commonly Misidentified Emergencies
- Bleeding Gums: This is a big one, particularly because it happens so often. If you notice blood in the sink after flossing or brushing, it could be minor; but it could also be a sign of gum disease or impending tooth loss! In order to tell, floss and brush your teeth more regularly for a period of a few weeks. Make sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush. The bleeding should stop with constant care. If it doesn’t, it’s time to schedule an appointment!
- Tooth Pain: Though it can be indicative of a simple cavity, tooth pain could also be a sign that you have an abscessed tooth or a major oral infection. Either of these could cause greater problems down the line, including misalignment and extensive tooth decay. Even when the problem is just a cavity, it can evolve into a dental emergency when the infection bores down into the tooth root. If left untreated, it could require a root canal to save the tooth.
- Chipped Teeth: It might seem like a slightly chipped or cracked tooth would be strictly a cosmetic problem, but sharp, brittle surfaces can be harder to clean than smooth, rounded out teeth. Additionally, it can be easier for food debris to get stuck in the cracks and jagged edges of an incomplete tooth, which can precipitate cavities and other problems.
- Bad Breath: We know what you’re thinking. How could bad breath possible be an emergency? Well, if the odor is indicative of a major infection, it might very well be. Don’t hesitate to visit us; we can ascertain whether it stems from simple halitosis and dry mouth, or from a more serious issue.
- Abscessed Teeth: When a wisdom tooth comes in, it can become lodged against the others in a horizontal direction. Though many people might think removing them isn’t pressing and will only cause slight discomfort, in most people, this issue can cause misalignment.
At OnCall Dental in Fresno CA, we focus on any and every type of dental emergency. If you’re looking for an informed, dedicated, communicative staff, as well as top-of-the-line dentistry, contact us today!