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Experiencing Facial Swelling? Here’s When to Go to the Dentist vs. the ER

July 31, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — mydaytonadentist @ 3:35 pm
Woman examining her face in bathroom mirror

At first, minor facial swelling can be chalked up to the weather or something you ate. However, after a few days, you may have a bit more difficulty dismissing it – and rightly so! You know that having a professional take a look is the way to go but aren’t entirely sure of where to turn. Sound familiar? Keep reading to learn when to go to the ER vs. your emergency dentist for facial swelling!

Common Causes of Facial Swelling

There is a multitude of things that can cause facial swelling. The first is an abscess. This is an infection that results in a pimple-like protrusion. If left untreated, more and more bacteria can enter the pocket, resulting in further inflammation. Another common culprit is a salivary gland infection. Since the salivary glands are located in your cheeks, swelling in the area could be a direct result of the build-up of bacteria. A sinus infection could also be the source of the issue, necessitating treatment from an ear, nose, and throat doctor.

Facial Swelling: A Dental Emergency or ER Trip?

When determining where to seek treatment, there are a few factors to consider. To start, are you experiencing any potentially life-threatening symptoms (i.e., difficulty breathing, trouble swallowing, etc.)? If so, then you should head straight to your nearest ER. Although they likely won’t have a dentist on staff, they can provide you with the medical attention you need. On the other hand, if you’re experiencing facial swelling and pain stemming from your mouth, then you should call your emergency dentist right away.

What to Expect at an Urgent Dental Appointment

If you typically only visit your dentist for routine checkups and cleanings, you may be wondering what exactly to expect at an urgent dental appointment. First, your dental team will check you in, assist you with any paperwork, and bring you into the treatment room. From there, your dentist will ask you a few questions about your symptoms, conduct an oral exam, and take X-rays. With this information, they’ll be able to determine the root of the problem and get to work on your treatment plan. After reviewing all of the information with you and answering any questions you have, they’ll get to work on relieving the inflammation and restoring your pain-free smile.

Facial swelling could be linked to anything from an abscess to a sinus infection. Whatever the root of the problem may be, seeking professional treatment is essential. So, keep the above information in mind when determining if you should head to your local ER or give your emergency dentist a call!

About the Author

Dr. Lloyd comes from a family of dentists, so it’s like his whole life has been spent in the dental field! He chose to pursue his dental doctorate at the prestigious Emory University School of Dentistry. From there, he was awarded a position in the General Practice Residency program at Naval Hospital-Oakland. Today, he happily spends his days helping nearby patients with everything from essential preventive care to last-minute emergency dentistry. If you are struggling with facial swelling or simply need to schedule an appointment, don’t hesitate to visit his website or give him a call at 386-253-3629.

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