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Should I Make an Emergency Dentistry Visit for Facial Swelling During COVID-19 Outbreak?
If you have facial swelling while under lockdown for the COVID-19 outbreak, you may need to make an emergency dentistry visit. Mild pain may not be an urgent issue, but there are many instances when facial swelling is the major sign of a serious condition. You may be able to endure the pain, but certain conditions require urgent attention to prevent them from worsening.
When facial swelling is a dental emergency
Facial swelling can occur for different reasons. It could be the side effect of medications, poor nutrition (Vitamin C deficiency) and blocked salivary glands. Below are dental emergency cases that may cause swelling.
A hard fall or forceful impact on the mouth can damage the teeth, jaws and soft tissues of the oral cavity. If there is facial swelling and pain due to trauma, patients need to check if any tooth is cracked or broken. It may be hard to see a cracked tooth, so touch each tooth to see if one causes more pain than the rest. Look for bleeding around the teeth or gums. If there is facial swelling with a fractured tooth or excessive bleeding, an emergency dentistry visit is necessary.
A tooth affected by a bacterial infection can suffer an abscess. An abscess is a pocket containing bacteria that forms around the tooth when the infection spreads to its inner layer. An abscess can occur around the tip of the tooth, following a cavity or tooth fracture. Other times, it may occur at the root of the tooth, where it joins with the gums. A tooth abscess can cause a swollen face and cheeks, swollen lymph nodes and persistent, throbbing pain that radiates to the jaw and ear.
If the abscess ruptures, one might notice a foul taste in the mouth from the pus around the tooth, accompanied by pain. An abscess can be life-threatening, so patients must visit the dentist once they discover symptoms.
Advanced gum disease
This is another condition that can cause facial swelling. Bacterial plaque attacks the gums and causes gum disease. If untreated, it may worsen into periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease. The infection can affect the gums, as well as the jawbone. Aside from facial swelling, other symptoms that accompany advanced gum disease are bleeding gums, pain and swollen lymph nodes. Delaying treatment can cause tooth loss.
Contact the dentist
Having a regular dentist has its benefits. The dentist will create time for patients who have a dental emergency during the lockdown. If a patient calls the dentist explaining their symptoms (pain and swelling), the dentist will provide guidelines on what to do for momentary pain relief and schedule an appointment following proper protocols.
A dental emergency can occur at any time. If you notice facial swelling, call your dentist immediately to arrange for an emergency dentistry visit. If an appointment is not immediately possible, the dentist may call in a prescription or recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever. That way, the patient will be comfortable until they can finally see the dentist.
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