Is It a Dental Emergency, or Can You Wait for Your Next Appointment?

If you're ever concerned about any type of health problem, including anything that might be wrong inside your mouth, you don't want to put off getting emergency treatment. It's always best to err on the side of caution and have potential emergency conditions treated as quickly as possible, rather than thinking your condition will clear up or that it's not so serious. However, if you still have questions about emergency dental care, note a few tips that can tell you if you're having a true emergency, or if you can wait until your next appointment with your family dentist to have your mouth and teeth examined.

Spots in the mouth

If you notice spots in your mouth, you want to be careful about putting off having them checked, especially if they're white or black and seem a bit hard. These spots could be signs of developing oral cancer. Spots that are oozing any type of pus may also indicate an infection.

A simple cut inside the mouth may seem a bit pink and soft, and this can often wait until a dental appointment to be examined and ensure it's healing properly. You may even notice that this spot or sore subsides over a few days. However, for any other spots you don't recognize, have them examined as quickly as possible.

Blood not from brushing

If you brush or floss your teeth too vigorously, it's not unusual for the gums to bleed; your family dentist can examine your gums at your next check-up and note if you need to adjust your oral care routine. If your teeth or gums bleed at any other time, you should have this checked by a dentist as early as possible. You may have an oral infection, a cut, a tooth that has cracked or split, or another emergency that needs immediate attention.

Something stuck in the teeth

If you get something stuck in your teeth and you cannot remove it with floss, don't try other objects like steak knives or picks, or assume that the object will dislodge itself. It's good to see an emergency dentist to have the item removed safely, and quickly, as even food particles that are lodged between teeth can cause damage to the gums and allow an oral infection to set in. Avoid using your teeth for opening items and be sure your food is cut into manageable size bites, but if you do get something caught in your teeth, consider this an emergency and have this treated as quickly as possible.