Dental care isn't often the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of emergency health services. Broken bones, severe lacerations, and other injuries usually top the list of urgent emergencies, but your oral health is just as important as any other aspect of your health. Dental emergencies can often pose the same severe risks as other critical injuries and illnesses.
However, oral health emergencies can also take many forms. While broken teeth or painful abscesses are some of the most obviously urgent situations, gum injuries can also be serious or even life-threatening. Next time you injure your gums, consider these three reasons you might require immediate dental care.
1. Uncontrolled Bleeding
Any injury that results in uncontrolled bleeding is a serious health issue. Unsurprisingly, severe lacerations in your mouth can sometimes cause bleeding that won't stop or that starts repeatedly. While many mouth injuries are relatively minor, you should pay attention if an injury to your gums produces bleeding over several hours or longer.
In these cases, you may require stitches or other immediate attention. Failing to deal with an injury that won't stop bleeding can potentially result in an infection or poorly healed gums. Uncontrolled bleeding can also result from numerous dental health issues, making an examination by a dentist essential to rule out these potential causes.
2. Trapped Foreign Objects
It's unpleasant to imagine, but foreign objects can sometimes become trapped in the gums or between the teeth and gums. These objects may be sharp pieces of food or something eaten accidentally. Whatever the case, any object lodged in your gums can result in severe pain and some potentially serious health issues.
When you think you have lodged something in your gums, use only gentle methods to attempt to remove it, such as lightly flossing. Be careful not to push the object deeper. Contact an emergency dentist if you cannot remove the object, the injury begins to bleed profusely, or you notice a severe increase in pain or inflammation.
3. Severe Inflammation
Swelling in your mouth is generally always a cause for concern. Swelling around an injury to your gums may indicate an active infection or a trapped object. Whatever the case, waiting too long to address the problem will likely lead to more severe pain and, in severe cases, potentially life-threatening infections. Inflammation that seems to be getting worse is a particular cause for concern.
While minor gum injuries often result from sharp foods or even overly aggressive brushing, more severe injuries are never something you should ignore. Contact an emergency dental services provider to learn more.