A dental emergency refers to any type of pain or symptom that requires immediate attention. When most people suffer from a simple toothache, they know that they can put off the pain they experience for a few days or at least until they can make an appointment with a dentist. For others though, that pain can put so much pressure on them they need help right away. If you find yourself dealing with some pain, discomfort or other symptoms and aren’t sure if you have a dental emergency, you can look at some signs that indicate you should see a dentist sooner rather than later.

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Broken Tooth

One sign that you have a dental emergency on your hands is when you break one of your teeth. This can happen while playing with your kids or doing other activities. A football that hits you in the face, a car accident that causes your mouth to strike the steering wheel or even a hard object placed inside your food that you bite down on can make a tooth break. It’s important that you see a doctor quickly to avoid nerve damage and other problems.

Inflammation with Pain

Many people make emergency dental appointments because they experience both swelling and pain. If you read through a dental journal, you’ll find that these symptoms can indicate an abscessed tooth. Inflammation or swelling can occur when there is a build up of germs or bacteria inside your mouth. You can check out the tooth in a mirror to see if you notice any red or pink areas around the tooth and whether your gums are swollen. The pain that you experience can range from mild pain that causes some general discomfort to major pain that shoots around your head, mouth, neck and even your back and shoulders.

Changes to Routine

While you can put off making an appointment in some situations, if you need to make changes to your routine because of your tooth pain, that appointment can’t wait. Changes to your routine may include holding an ice pack against your face while reading or watching television and chewing on the opposite side of your mouth. Many dental offices offer emergency hours and appointments, but you’ll also find clinics that serve the needs of those who have a dental emergency in the middle of the night. These clinics and offices can treat your tooth pain and other symptoms.