February 6, 2019
You’re going about your business on a typical day when you notice something wrong with your oral health. It might be unexplained bleeding, facial swelling, a toothache that comes out of nowhere, pain or discomfort in your jaw, or numbness or tingling around your face. All of these are signs that you should see an emergency dentist in River Oaks as soon as possible. Otherwise you may be risking serious medical consequences.
Five Warning Signs You Should Never Ignore
Seek the help of a dentist in River Oaks or other healthcare provider if you notice any of these symptoms:
- Bleeding in or from your mouth. This can be caused by something as simple as irritated gums; then again, it may be a sign of periodontitis, a cracked or dislocated jaw, or even bleeding from your brain. In any case, it’s always better to have a professional check it out.
- Facial swelling. This is another symptom that can have a range of causes, including allergies, blunt force trauma, an abscess, or a concussion. Be especially wary if the swelling occurs rapidly or for no obvious reason.
- A severe or unexpected toothache. The most common cause of tooth pain is cavity-causing bacteria. But it can also stem from problems such as a skull fracture. There’s particular cause for concern if the discomfort grows worse when you open your mouth.
- Pain or discomfort in your jaw. Most of the time this is a symptom of teeth grinding, TMJ disorder, or a similar condition. Sometimes, though, it can signal a cracked or dislocated jaw or even oral cancer. It takes a qualified medical or dental professional to provide the correct diagnosis.
- Numbness or tingling in your face. This can be a medication side effect, a symptom of an allergic reaction, or a signal of a potentially life-threatening condition such as a stroke or aneurysm. In any event, you should never take chances with this particular warning sign.
What to Do in the Meantime
It may take time for you to see a dentist in River Oaks, even if you suspect the problem is an emergency. Fortunately, there are things you can do in the interim to manage any discomfort you may feel. These include:
- Taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Not only do these products relieve pain, they also help to reduce inflammation. Ibuprofen is a good choice for most people.
- Applying gauze to the wound site. This tip applies particularly to open wounds, such as cuts or lacerations inside the mouth. Change the gauze frequently and apply pressure to the site to minimize blood loss.
- Use cold to reduce swelling. A cold pack works great for this purpose. But you can also use something as simple as a few ice cubes in a plastic bag or a package of frozen produce.
Medical emergencies can strike at any time. Knowing what to do if they occur can help things to turn out okay in the end. When the crisis is over, give yourself a pat on the back for your preparedness and quick thinking.
About the Author
Dr. John Krell comes from a family tradition of dental excellence. He began his professional career in 1989 by joining his brother, Dr. Bill Krell. In 1996 he started his own practice and has been serving the people of our area ever since. You can reach his office online or by calling (713) 877-1775.
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