Dental emergencies are relatively common, and many of them are easy to fix. However, there are some harmful myths out there about emergency dentistry that could compromise your oral health. If you learn more about them, you can make better decisions next time you have a dental problem.
Infections Can go Away
One of the first signs of a dental infection is a toothache. You may find that your toothache suddenly gets worse, but then disappears and leaves you pain-free. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean that your body is capable of healing itself. Instead, it's a sign that the infection is worse.
If your severe dental pain suddenly disappears, it may be that the nerve is dead, and the infection is spreading further. You may not need to see a dentist immediately, but you should see one as soon as you can to remove the source of the infection and protect the rest of your mouth.
Dental Infections Stay in the Mouth
When you experience a severe toothache or an oral swelling that comes with pain, don't assume that it will stay in your mouth. Infections can travel via your lymphatic and circulatory system to other areas of your body. Although this doesn't always happen with abscesses, it's dangerous when it does.
Depending on the location of the abscess, your infection could spread downward or upward. Abscesses affecting the upper jaw are particularly problematic, so you should always see a dentist immediately to address yours.
Knocked-Out Baby Teeth Aren't a Problem
It's easy to see why this particular dental emergency myth floats around. If your child knocks out a baby tooth, you may feel as though an adult tooth will eventually come along and replace it.
Any tooth that's knocked out requires the attention of an emergency dentist. Your dentist will use examination and imaging techniques to see what has happened to the structures surrounding the tooth. In a lot of cases, your child won't need further treatment. But if they do, anything your dentist recommends will protect their oral health for the future.
Emergency Dentists Are Hard to Find
Unless you've tried to look for an emergency dentist, don't assume they're hard to find. Your usual dentist may offer some out-of-hours options, or they might reserve some of their daytime slots for emergencies only. Additionally, it's worth checking with your local hospital if the emergency is severe.
By challenging these myths, caring for your oral health becomes easier. If you're ever in doubt about whether you're facing an emergency, always check with your emergency dentistry clinic first.