Dental Guides

How to Determine If You Need Emergency Dental Care

With the COVID-19 pandemic deepening, dentists across the nation are working hard to keep their offices safe. As clinics reopen, dental teams are implementing stringent procedures to minimize the spread of disease and protect their patients. Entire industries adapted their operational structures to keep customers safe, and your dentist is no different.

If you need emergency dental care, make an appointment immediately. Even during the height of lockdown regulations, dentists still performed emergency procedures. The more you delay treatment, the worse your problem could become — leading to significant issues.

Not all dental emergencies come with pain, so pay attention to the signs of an impending issue before it increases in severity. Even with proper oral care, external trauma represents only one of the many reasons people need emergency dental surgery every year.

Learn to understand what to look out for when it comes to your oral health. If you recognize any of the problems below, schedule an appointment with your dentist. Nipping a dental issue in the bud saves you time, money, and a world of pain later on.

Loose Tooth

In adults, a loose tooth is a ticking time bomb. It indicates the presence of underlying issues, such as gum disease or chronic infection. Other times, an injury to your face or jaw can loosen a tooth. That could happen if you fall, for example, or take a hit while playing sports.

Loose teeth don't have to hurt for you to visit the nearest clinic. One bite into something too hard or chewy can cause your tooth to fall out. Avoid losing your tooth — contact your dental clinic for an emergency visit.

Jaw Swelling

A swollen jaw causes extreme pain and is sensitive to the touch. Abscesses are one of the primary causes of jaw swelling. If you don't visit your dentist, the abscess will fill with pus that leaks to the surrounding areas of your face, causing it to swell. This condition is known as facial cellulitis.

Pericoronitis can also cause swelling in your jaw. This gum infection affects the tissues around your wisdom tooth. Regardless of the cause, jaw swelling is never a good sign. Consult with a doctor or dentist immediately.


Toothaches rob you of your smile and keep you sore — and grumpy — for days. The pain comes from issues like tooth decay, infection, abscess, fractures, and more. One surprising reason for toothaches includes grinding your teeth while you sleep. You may not even realize you have this bad habit.

Either way, it is vital to address a sore tooth promptly. Although over-the-counter medication temporarily relieves pain, getting to the root of the issue is the only way to cure it. 

Bleeding Gums

Don't underestimate the importance of your gums — or take their good health for granted. Sometimes, gums bleed due to aggressive brushing and flossing practices. This type of bleeding represents no cause for concern if not in excess. However, when you experience bleeding coupled with swelling and pain, make a dental appointment.

Gum disease affects more than just oral health. It comes in stages. Without the right treatment, your gums can sustain permanent damage. If your gums are swelling, painful, and bleeding, you need emergency dental care.

Metallic Taste

A metallic tang in your mouth leaves more than just a bad taste. It may indicate a loose filling or a crack in previous dental work. Open fillings can cause a series of problems and re-expose your tooth to bacteria. If left without treatment, they can lead to new cavities, infection, or even the need for a root canal.

Contact your dentist as soon as you notice a metallic taste in your mouth. Even checking out false alarms will provide you with peace of mind. In case the old filling is broken, your dentist can repair it before it causes additional issues.

Dental Abscess

An abscess is a painful, tender mass that results in swelling. Infections and gum disease cause abscesses, which usually occur at the tooth root. When you notice a foul taste or smell in your mouth, or experience fever, pain, and swelling, schedule a visit to your dentist.

The abscess will not go away on its own and requires dental work. If you do not resolve it in time, you may have to deal with additional issues. It may even lead to infections beyond your teeth and gums.

Frequent Headaches

Although this may come as a surprise to some, tooth issues, such as cavities or infection, might be the culprit behind your chronic head pain. Grinding your teeth while you sleep represents another literal headache.

Teeth grinding also wears off your enamel and causes tooth damage with time. While grinding can be hard to stop, repairing the damage done by the habit is easy. A good dentist can confirm the diagnosis and provide the right treatment.

Dentistry and COVID-19

Many people worry about seeking dental treatment during the pandemic. Since the virus spreads through infected particles in the air, you may feel tempted to stay home and ride it out. However, if you wait too long, you could face a series of avoidable problems that can cause permanent dental damage.

At Bissell Dental Group, you can rest easy. Dr. William Bissell and his staff always ensure that safety comes first. This dedication begins before you even enter the clinic.

Upon arrival, their team will check your temperature and that of every guest. They also ask each patient about their current symptoms — including those that may indicate a COVID-19 infection. During every procedure, their staff wears protective gear, masks, gloves, and face shields to minimize contact with saliva and mouth particles.

Dr. William Bissel effectively performs emergency dental care procedures while prioritizing the safety of both patients and staff. If you experience any symptoms mentioned in this post, seek care as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely the issue will worsen and cause more damage down the line.

More to Read: