Is Gum Disease a Dental Emergency?

Is Gum Disease a Dental Emergency?

Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is a problematic condition that can lead to gingivitis then advance to periodontal disease and periodontitis. This common dental issue can begin with simple gum bleeds or bad breath then lead to dental implants due to tooth loss. But should you consider it a dental emergency? Here’s what you need to know.

Is Gum Disease a Dental Emergency?

Is Gum Disease a Dental Emergency?Gum disease is considered a chronic disease that progresses slowly. As such, it rarely falls under the emergency category. However, that isn’t to say gum disease should be ignored or allowed to progress. This chronic condition will eventually lead to symptoms that may merit emergency dental care.

Signs You Might Need Emergency Dental Care

To determine if you have an emergency dental situation, consider the following common situations that could be symptoms of gum disease:

Loose Tooth: No adult should experience a wiggly or loose tooth. Adult teeth should be sturdy tools that hold firmly in place. Loose teeth can be caused by many conditions and situations, such as an injury or accident but can also be attributed to chronic gum disease as well.

Severe Toothache: This can be a painful sign you have a dental emergency. The cause of severe toothaches include a wide range of conditions.

Gum Ache or Bleeding: If you notice blood only when flossing, this isn’t an emergency. However, it can be early signs of gingivitis or gum disease. When bleeding becomes recurring or excessive and your gums ache, it might be a dental emergency.

Swollen Jaw: In some cases, swelling of the jaw indicate an infection. For example, the salivary gland can get infected. If you notice swelling in the jaw accompanied by fever, bad taste in your mouth, or trouble swallowing or breathing, seek emergency dental care immediately.

Dental Abscess: This very painful infection, located at the root of your tooth, is a sign you need immediate dental care. Symptoms of an abscess include swollen glands, pus, a foul taste in the mouth and a fever. In many cases, an abscessed tooth requires immediate care and even surgery to remedy.

Frequent Bad Headaches: It’s not uncommon to have headaches in general when you are sick or stressed. However, if you have frequent or chronic headaches, it could indicate you need dental attention. For example, headaches could mean you have bruxism or teeth grinding.

Numb Tooth: Although not as painful as an abscess or toothache, a numb tooth also merits attention. Lack of feeling isn’t a good sign. In some cases, this could reveal an abscess has impacted the nerves of the tooth, killing them.

Metal Taste: Finally, if you notice a metal taste in your mouth, this could indicate that a filling has become loose or cracked, which means you need emergency dental attention.

Preventing a Dental Emergency

Preventing a Dental EmergencyIdeally, you want to prevent any dental condition, including gum disease, from becoming a full-fledged emergency.

Pay Attention to Dental Pain, Changes to Your Teeth

Don’t allow nagging problems to progress into major issues. Tooth pain always means something needs to be addressed. Therefore, anytime to notice changes to your teeth, pain or any indication that something is wrong, visit your dentist immediately.

Maintain Excellent Oral Care

Make sure you brush your teeth twice daily, for at least two minutes at a time. Replace your toothbrush at least every two to three months. A worn toothbrush simply won’t do the job of cleaning your teeth adequately. Also, floss regularly to reduce the risk of gum disease or tooth decay.

Cut Down on the Sugar in Your Diet

While it’s okay to enjoy sugary treats occasionally, make sure it isn’t a regular part of your diet, which can lead to cavities and damage to your tooth enamel.

Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Another way to prevent both gum disease and dental emergencies is to maintain regular dental care. This means visiting your dentist for a cleaning at least every six months. During this visit, your dentist and hygienist will examine your teeth thoroughly, identifying potential issues before they become actual dental emergencies.


Contact us today to schedule a dental visit. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so now’s the time to address any and all minor dental issues, before they become a true dental emergency.