What are Signs of a Dental Emergency?

For many of us, determining whether or not we are experiencing a dental emergency can be difficult. But when it comes to your dental health, understanding what is normal and when to get to the dentist as soon as possible is important for saving you time, money and discomfort.

Should I see a dentist immediately?

There are a few key ways to determine the severity of your dental discomfort and identify a true dental emergency.

Visible tooth damage

One of the easiest ways to tell whether or not you are experiencing a dental emergency is by seeing visible signs of severe tooth damage. Small chips or hairline cracks in the tooth can be repaired during regular business hours by your regular dentist, but large breaks require immediate emergency medical attention. Teeth missing chunks or with severe fracturing may be accompanied by severe pain and may be a sign that damage to inner tissue or bone may have occurred.


When an abrasion, lesion or other kind of injury occurs in the mouth, a pocket of pus called an abscess can form around the tooth. An abscess or other infection can also be caused by a bacterial infection, which in turn will cause uncomfortable and often very painful odor around the jaw and mouth. If you are experiencing mouth or jaw swelling, contacting or visiting an emergency dental professional is the best course of action. Leaving an abscess unattended can result in the infection spreading and worsening.

Bleeding and gum tenderness

A sign of bacterial infection and gum disease can be bleeding from the gums and gum tenderness. In these situations, getting help from an emergency dental professional is necessary. Aching and bleeding gums are the most common signs of gum disease, and left untreated, this can result in decay and tooth loss. Proper brushing and flossing will help to avoid gum pain and disease.

Headaches and sensitivity

Because your teeth are in your head, infections, swelling and irritation in your mouth can cause headaches and irritation to occur in the rest of your head. A sign that your dental health is impacting your head health is constant and persistent headaches, and this should be addressed to avoid worsening of the condition. Often times, headaches and head sensitivity related to dental care require simple fixes, such as wearing a mouth guard to avoid tooth grinding at night. To ensure fixes remain simple, address head pain with your dental provider as soon as possible.

Metallic taste

For individuals with fillings, a persistent metallic taste in the mouth can be a sign of cracked, loose, or damaged fillings. In these cases, emergency care is required not because the situation is dire, but in order to prevent further damage or infection. An open filling is vulnerable to bacteria and infection, which can result in much more painful conditions that require more involved and painful intervention. To prevent needing root canals, routinely have your fillings checked, and have them replaced immediately if they become damaged.

Do you need to make an appointment now?

If you are experiencing any of the issues above, get in touch with us using the information below in order to schedule your appointment with an emergency dentist or oral health specialist.

Request an appointment here: https://www.preferreddentalcenter.com or call Preferred Dental Center at (210) 593-7636 for an appointment in our San Antonio office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Emergency Dental Care.

Recent Posts

What Happens When You Visit An Emergency Dentist?

An emergency dentist is always on call when the unexpected happens and you find yourself in need of urgent dental care. Because emergencies happen at the most inconvenient times, a dental practice that offers emergency care usually stays open for longer hours. During its long office hours, the practice will take walk-in patients.When the practice…

4 Signs You Need Emergency Dental Care

Figuring out if the oral issue you are dealing with requires emergency dental care is not always an easy task. You do not want to have to make an unexpected trip to the dentist, but also you do not want to put your oral and overall health at risk either. Fortunately, we are here to…

When To Visit An Emergency Dentist Vs. The Emergency Room

An emergency dentist has a practice that takes walk-in patients with dental emergencies. They keep longer hours, including evenings, weekends and some holidays. Such dentists have practices that are equipped to deal with a wide range of dental emergencies.Sometimes, however, a patient may have an oral or dental emergency that is so serious that it…

What Are The Most Common Dental Emergencies?

Dental emergencies are oral problems that require immediate treatment. When such issues occur, waiting a couple of weeks for an appointment is simply not an option. Dealing with the pain created by the problem for that long is not something most patients are willing to do. That is where an emergency dentist comes in. These…

Recent Posts

Restore A Cavity With A Tooth Colored Filling

Restore A Cavity With A Tooth Colored Filling

When a dental patient is suffering from a cavity, a tooth colored filling is one of the common treatment options available. These cosmetically appealing alternatives to the metal fillings used in former years have grown in popularity and are now the filling used most often in addressing cavities. Some dental patients may still have questions…

A Dentist Answers FAQ&#    ;s About Natural Looking Crowns

A Dentist Answers FAQ's About Natural Looking Crowns

If a tooth or teeth become worn down, discolored or severely affected by tooth decay, dental crowns can be placed on affected teeth to increase tooth strength and improve the overall appearance of the mouth. There are several different types of materials that can be placed, each with unique benefits. Many people will ask dentists…