Is a Cavity a Dental Emergency?

You probably know already that if you're ever dealing with a knocked-out tooth or profuse oral bleeding, you need to get in touch with our emergency dentist in South Los Angeles ASAP for emergency dental care. 

But, what if you have a cavity that's been troubling you for a few days? Does that constitute a dental emergency or can you wait until one of the dentists at Overhill Dental can see you? 

The short answer is that it depends. While cavities usually develop gradually, sometimes untreated dental caries can escalate into dental emergencies that require immediate attention. 

Here's how to tell if your cavity is a dental emergency. 

When a Cavity Becomes a Dental Emergency

The problem with cavities is that they can be asymptomatic, especially in the early stages. That's why preventive care is so important as the dentist can check for any signs of decay and address the problem before it evolves. 

As the decay progresses, you may start noticing sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks, a dark spot on your tooth, or even visible pits or holes. This is the moment when you should schedule an appointment with Dr. Alexaundrea Smith for restorative care. Ignoring these red flags may allow the cavity to turn into an infection, which usually constitutes a dental emergency. 

Signs Your Cavity Turned Into an Emergency 

Call Dr. Alexaundrea Smith at (323) 296-6180 if you notice any of the following: 

  • Intense and persistent toothache: A toothache that doesn't subside or becomes increasingly more severe may indicate advanced decay or an infection in the tooth's nerve and pulp.
  • An abscess: When a cavity reaches the inner layers of the tooth, it can lead to an abscess around the tooth root. This can cause significant pain, facial swelling, and in severe cases, difficulty breathing or swallowing.
  • Visible signs of infection: If you notice pus, drainage, or a foul smell coming from the affected tooth, it may be a sign of infection that requires immediate attention.
  • Fever: If your toothache is accompanied by fever, it's a sign that your body is fighting an infection and you need urgent dental care. 

What Should You Do Next 

If you experience any of the above symptoms, reach out to Overhill Dental as soon as possible to explain your symptoms and schedule an emergency appointment. 

In the meantime, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers to manage your discomfort. Applying a cold compress to the affected area can help and so can rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater. 

Dealing with a Dental Emergency? Call Us Right Now! 

Whether it's a fractured tooth, a knocked-out tooth, or intense and persistent pain, we here at Overhill Dental are ready to offer swift care. 

Call us now at (323) 296-6180, tell us about your emergency, and we will be able to schedule a same-day appointment and help restore your oral health. 

For regular appointments, you can also get in touch with us online. 

Back to Blog

Get the Smile You’ve Always Wanted

Request an Appointment

Schedule Today