Don’t Wait to Book an Emergency Dental Appointment
Dental emergencies can happen anytime. A dinner leads to a broken filling. A fall in the park causes an unexpected chip. When you're faced with a damaged tooth or an abscess, it's time to book an emergency dental appointment.
Schedule Your Emergency Dental Appointment
Life is busy. If you have a dental emergency, you may be tempted to put your appointment on the backburner until you have more time. However, waiting days, weeks, or months to treat the problem can make the issue worse. Our office will schedule an appointment as quickly as possible to address the problem before it progresses.
It doesn't take long for a dental issue to progress into a more complicated problem.
What are Dental Emergencies?
Many people put off dental appointments because they don't believe they're experiencing a true dental emergency. But it’s always best to call our staff to see if your issue is an emergency so we can help determine whether you need to come in right away for an appointment based on your symptoms and the range or services we can provide.
Common Symptoms of Dental Emergencies
Some of the most common symptoms of dental emergencies include:
- Tooth pain
- Ulcers, sores, or tender areas of the mouth
- Teeth that are loose, chipped, cracked or broken
- Swelling in the cheek or face
- Receding gums
- Gum abscess from not having regular cleanings
- Bad breath that just won't go away
- A chipped or broken dental Veneer
- Sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures
- Dry socket after a tooth extraction
- Swelling or bleeding in the gums after brushing
- Post teeth whitening sensitivity
- Jaw clicking
- A loose bridge or implant
- Chronic dry mouth
- Wisdom tooth pain
Call us to make an emergency dental appointment if you experience any of these symptoms. In addition, it's crucial to seek medical treatment if your neck is swollen or you have a high fever.
It's best to visit the dentist before you have symptoms of a dental emergency. We encourage our patients and others in the Langley area to come and see us at least twice a year for check-ups. Routine dental visits can help identify problems before they become emergencies that require strong pain medications.
Did You Know?
Gum disease and cavities are common dental issues. Data from the World Health Organization has found that:
- Nearly every adult has at least one cavity that requires a filling
- Up to 90% of school-aged children have cavities
- Up to 20% of adults between 35 and 44 have advanced gum disease
- Up to 10 out of every 100,000 people in most countries have oral cancer
- About a third of people aged 65-74 have no natural teeth left
- Oral diseases are more common among people in poor and disadvantaged groups
Take Control of Your Oral Health
Maintaining your oral health is essential for your overall health. There are many things you can do to keep your smile as healthy and beautiful as possible, including:
- Brush your teeth at least twice daily
- Floss every day
- Have braces or Invisalign to straighten teeth
- Eat a healthy diet rich in vegetables and fruit
- Reduce or eliminate your intake of sugary foods and drinks
- Visit the dentist regularly at Lighthouse Dental Centre
- Quit smoking or avoid tobacco products
What Causes Oral Diseases?
Your mouth harbors all kinds of bacteria, fungi, and viruses? Although this may not be a pleasant thought, most of these organisms are harmless in small quantities. However, the foods and beverages that you consume can turn your mouth into a breeding ground for bacteria.
Sugary foods and drinks create the perfect conditions for acid-producing bacteria to grow and flourish. Unfortunately, the acid produced by bacteria erodes tooth enamel and eventually develops into cavities.
Plaque can also lead to bacteria growth. Without regular brushing and flossing, plaque starts to build up and hardens. Plaque build-up leads to gum inflammation and the development of gum disease, or gingivitis.
As inflammation increases, your gums start to recede from your teeth. When this happens, little pockets form and begin collecting puss. This effect is a sign of periodontitis, which is an advanced stage of gum disease and makes cosmetic dentistry more difficult.
Sugary foods and drinks are just one of the many factors that can lead to oral diseases. Others include:
- Smoking or tobacco use
- Poor oral hygiene
- Medications that reduce saliva
- Heartburn, acid reflux or GERD
- Some infections, such as AIDS or HIV
- Changes in hormones
How are Dental Diseases Diagnosed?
We can diagnose most dental issues right here in our office. During your examination, we will take a close look at your:
We may need to scrape or tap your teeth to help diagnose a problem. To help us get a better picture of your oral health, we may also take X-rays. Please tell us if you are pregnant. It's best to avoid X-rays during pregnancy.
Along with X-rays and a visual examination, we may also use a probe to measure gum pockets. A probe is a special tool that we use to determine whether your gums are receding or if you have gum disease.
When gums are healthy, pockets are 1-3 mm, on average. Pockets that are larger than this may be a sign of gum disease.
We may need to do a gum biopsy if we discover any unusual growths or lesions in your mouth. During a biopsy, we will remove a small piece of tissue from the affected area. Then, the tissue sample is sent to a lab to check if the cells are cancerous.
If there are signs of cancer, we may order imaging to see how far the disease has progressed. Imaging tests can include:
- MRI scans
- CT scans
If you suffer from dental anxiety we may recommend sedation for your treatment.
5 Dental Issues That Should be Treated Immediately
We use our mouths every day. With so much wear and tear, eventually, something goes wrong with your oral health. If you aren't taking care of your teeth, dental issues are more likely to pop up.
In many cases, you can prevent dental problems with proper oral hygiene. Still, most people will experience at least one oral health issue at some point in their lives, which may include:
Cavities, or tooth decay, are very common. Cavities are permanent damage. They form when bacteria and acid create plaque. The acid produced by bacteria damages the enamel and the connective tissue, or dentin, underneath. Eventually, this leads to permanent damage and sometimes extractions requiring implants.
Cavities can be treated with fillings or a root canal.
Gum Disease and Periodontitis
Gum disease, or gingivitis, causes inflammation of the gums. In many cases, gum disease develops because of poor oral hygiene and plaque build-up.
Gingivitis can cause your gums to bleed and swell when you brush.
If left untreated, gum disease can progress into periodontitis. Periodontitis is a more severe infection that can affect the jaw and bones. In some cases, the condition can trigger the body's inflammatory response.
Sensitivity is a common issue among our patients. If you feel discomfort or pain when consuming hot or cold drinks or foods, this is a sign of sensitivity.
Some patients experience increased sensitivity after having a filling or root canal. But you can also develop this issue because of:
Broken or Cracked Teeth
Your teeth can become cracked or broken for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Injury or trauma
- Grinding your teeth
- Eating extra-hard foods
Cracked and broken teeth can be painful. It's important to make an appointment with us right away if you have a broken or cracked tooth.
The Canadian Cancer Society estimated that 5,400 Canadians would be diagnosed with oral cavity cancer in 2020. Oral cancers can affect virtually any area of the mouth, including the:
- Hard and soft palate
- Floor of the mouth
Smoking and chewing tobacco are two significant risk factors for oral cancer. With regular dental visits at our office, it's possible to detect signs of oral cancer early on.
Your Oral Health Affects Your Overall Health
Your oral health affects your general health. Research has found an association between poor dental health and underlying medical conditions. So, a healthy mouth can help contribute to a healthy body overall.
Poor oral health may be associated with:
- Low birth weight and premature birth
- Heart disease
When bacteria spreads from your mouth into your bloodstream, it can cause infective endocarditis, which is a life-threatening condition.
Practicing good oral hygiene can not only give you a healthy, beautiful smile, but it can also help you maintain your general health. For this reason, it's essential to take care of dental emergencies as soon as they happen. Putting them off will only give the problem a chance to grow and progress into something potentially worse.
Contact us today to book an appointment!