It is generally recommended that adults see a dentist at least annually if not more often. This can allow a dentist to give your mouth a thorough checkup and cleaning to avoid problems and check on ones that may be developing. However, there are times when you might want to see an emergency dentist rather than wait for a checkup. How do you know if the problems you're having with your mouth and teeth require an emergency visit or if they can wait? While it's never good to take too many risks with your teeth and gums, note a few factors you might consider.
The severity of the pain you feel will almost always tell you if you need any type of emergency visit, but note also the location of pain in your mouth. Does it feel as if it's under the tooth and is it an acute, sharp pain? This might be signs of an infection that may not clear up on its own. If the pain is inside your cheek, note if you see any signs of an open cut, pus and the like. These too may mean that you need emergency intervention as you may have bitten the inside of your cheek and an infection has set in.
If your mouth or gums are bleeding severely then of course you want to visit an emergency dentist, but consider if you notice a bit of blood after flossing or brushing. This could simply mean you used too much pressure during your routine and cut into your gums. If the bleeding seems too severe to be from a slight abrasion, this might mean a loose tooth that should be addressed by an emergency dentist.
If you notice any type of sores in the mouth that are unfamiliar to you, it's good to see an emergency dentist. A canker sore is usually very harmless and you may notice it inside your lip or cheek and may be familiar with its appearance and feel. However, if you notice other white or black spots in your mouth, this might be signs of oral cancer and this should be treated as quickly as possible. Sores on the tongue should also be checked by an emergency dentist as they too might be cancerous. Biting any type of sore or open wound on the tongue may also make it worse, so it's good to have an emergency dentist at least diagnose the sore so you can have it treated and, in turn, protect your overall oral health.