When it comes to dental emergencies, there is a lot of confusion about what exactly constitutes one. Is a toothache an emergency? What if the pain lasts for more than two days? This blog post will help clarify what is considered a dental emergency and whether or not you should book an emergency dentist in Newcastle.


Is every type of pain in your mouth considered a dental emergency?


No, not all types of toothache are emergencies. If the pain is sharp and sudden, it could be an abscessed or impacted wisdom tooth that needs to be pulled immediately. However, if you have a consistent dull ache for more than two days, it is probably a cavity and you should seek attention from your dentist.

Before we get into the details of what to do when experiencing dental pain, let’s go over some basic information about teeth to help put this topic in perspective.

A tooth has three layers: enamel (the outer covering), dentin (which makes up most of the tooth), and the pulp (which contains blood vessels, nerves, connective tissue, and cells that produce new dentin). To help you take care of your teeth properly, it is important to understand where each of these three layers are.

The enamel is the outermost covering on a tooth’s surface. This layer serves as a protective covering and is one of the hardest substances in your body. Enamel cannot repair itself if it gets damaged, so you will need to seek professional dental treatment immediately when enamel cracks or chips.

Dental caries (commonly known as cavities) are holes in teeth caused by tooth decay. These holes can form on the surface of your teeth or within enamel, dentin, and pulp layers. This type of dental emergency usually responds well to proper at-home treatment that includes increased oral hygiene habits, along with regular visits to your dentist.


Know the difference between dental and medical emergencies


Dental emergencies happen when your teeth are uncomfortable or painful in any way, whereas medical emergencies have to do with something more serious that doesn’t necessarily involve an injury. Dental issues often require immediate attention, while you may be able to wait for a little while before seeing a doctor.

Dental emergencies can be caused by things like tooth pain, loose teeth, and broken or fractured teeth. Medical emergencies usually require immediate attention because they could lead to further problems if left untreated for too long.


What is considered a dental emergency?


There are a few different circumstances that are considered to be dental emergencies. If you are experiencing any of these problems it’s advisable to contact your dentist as soon as possible to arrange an emergency appointment.


A knocked out tooth


A broken or chipped tooth requires immediate attention from your dentist to prevent further damage and infection. Regardless of whether the loss was caused by impact or an injury, seeing a dentist as soon as possible increases the chances of saving the tooth.

Be aware that a chipped or cracked tooth may not qualify as an emergency unless there are sharp edges causing you pain or injury. However, a tooth that has been completely knocked out requires immediate attention.


Severe pain


Severe dental pain can have a number of underlying causes. If you’re experiencing an unbearable toothache or dental pain, this is a dental emergency that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. This allows for the cause to be established and for you to receive appropriate treatment so you can recover quickly.

Normal toothache will usually require an appointment but isn’t considered an emergency unless the pain is severe. When it comes down to it, you should only consider a toothache an emergency if it is sharp and sudden, or if the pain lasts for more than two days. Otherwise, you should schedule a visit with your dentist to address any problems you are having with your teeth.


Uncontrollable oral bleeding


Uncontrollable oral bleeding can be caused by both dental and medical issues, however, it is more common with a dental emergency because the source of bleeding is often related to injuries involving teeth or gums.

A serious blow to your head that causes you to bleed uncontrollably would probably warrant an immediate trip to the ER for stitches.  If you have knocked out a tooth this would also warrant an immediate trip to your dentist,  whereas bleeding gums may be that you have an infection from not cleaning your teeth correctly. While you need to seek dental treatment, it is not a medical emergency.

If you are bleeding uncontrollably from your mouth you should make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

Again, oral bleeding can have a number of different causes. Seeking attention promptly means the appropriate treatment can be given quickly.


Abscesses and infections


An abscessed tooth happens when there’s an infection that forms near a tooth root or inside the pulp chamber (the innermost part of the tooth). The infection can cause a build up of pressure that will eventually cause pain.

If you have not already, it is important to seek treatment from your dentist immediately because this type of infection can spread through the body and become very dangerous if left untreated. If you can feel a sensation like knots in your jaw or your mouth is swelling, contact your dentist straight away for an emergency appointment.


Contact Live Life Smiling

We are a leading dental clinic in Newcastle, covering all areas of dentistry with our expert and experienced staff.

If you believe that you are currently experiencing a dental emergency and need urgent dental care, get in touch with us now to organise a local appointment with us as soon as possible.