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Signs You May Have a Dental Emergency

The number of people who visit the ER for dental problems that are not emergencies or even urgent is staggering.

According to a study by the American Dental Health Association, majority of these visits to the emergency room could easily be diverted to a dental office. This saves approximately $1.7 billion per annum.

We at the Waterfront

believe in educating families about dental health and to prevent unnecessary anxiety, we intend to educate about what can be considered a dental emergency.

Severe Pain

This is one of the major warning signs. If the pain is manageable, scheduling a dental visit is easy, but if the pain is abrupt and severe, it can indicate a dental emergency.

If the pain begins as a less intense ache and becomes severe, this is a cause for concern. Common causes for sudden toothache include cavity, crack in a tooth or an abscess. If you have sensitive teeth in general then using the gel or toothpaste that your dentist has recommended should work; if it doesn’t, you need to set up an appointment with your dentist immediately.

Loose Tooth

If your tooth suddenly feels weak, even if not painful, it should be a cause for concern.

Adults don’t lose teeth and losing one can indicate an infection or a tooth injury. This required immediate medical attention. Any bleeding or pain in the gums can be a sign of gum disease as well.

Don’t pull at it. Just bite down and keep it in place until you get to your dentist’s.

Swollen Jaw

Swollen jaw can indicate many problems even apart from dental issues. It can be a sign of gum disease or tooth infection but also a swollen lymph node. If this symptom is accompanied by severe pain, then you should see a dentist as soon as possible.

If there is swelling and no pain then waiting to see if it goes away by the time of your dentist’s scheduled visit.


Lack of sensation in the concerned area can indicate a bigger problem such as the infection affecting a nerve which will lead you right down the lane to a root canal.

Jaw Pain

Jaw pain can be due to many reasons: cavity or gum disease, bruxism, TMJ syndrome, joint pain or even stress.

Jaw pain and tooth pain can seem like the same thing but the differentiating sign is consistent jaw pain that feels like its deeper. This can indicate a cracked or infected tooth. It is a good idea to see an emergency dental care provider.

Knocked out or chipped tooth

While these are obvious, many people just decide to go about as usual when a tooth is knocked out, not knowing that it can be re-implanted.

If you recover a knocked-out tooth, store it in a cool, moist cloth and see your dentist immediately.

Do not scrub the tooth if it has become dirty; instead wash it with tap water.

Most dental problems are not emergencies and can be dealt with at your next dentist’s appointment. The best way to prevent most emergencies is to regularly see your dentist and take care of your dental health—brushing twice a day and flossing properly while scheduling cleanings.

Your dentist can detect many diseases such as oral cancer, anemia, Crohn’s Disease, Diabetes, GERD (gastrointestinal reflux disease), heart disease, osteoporosis; even psychological ones such as Dementia.

Schedule your check up with Waterfront Dentistry today for a family-based dental practice. Preventative dentistry will ensure you are safe from many problems before they occur. We also have emergency dental care. Visit out blog for more advice about your dental health.

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