The Hidden Dangers of Ignoring Toothaches: Our Emergency Dental Services in Knoxville, TN

woman looking at her teeth in pain in the mirror

When Dental Emergencies Strike, We Can Help 

Are you experiencing a dental emergency from a toothache or injury that’s growing more painful each day? There’s no need to fear or delay — our Knoxville, TN, emergency dentist, Dr. Niral Patel, is here for your urgent dental needs!

Fountain City Smiles has a team of dedicated emergency dentists ready to diagnose and treat all urgent dental issues night and day. We believe everyone in the Knoxville area should have rapid access to compassionate emergency dental care when faced with trauma to the mouth, worsening wisdom tooth pain, lost restorations, or any situation compromising your oral health and ability to function. Call our Knoxville, TN, dental office at (865) 888-9674 if you have a dental emergency.

Jen’s Toothache Story

Jen had had a dull ache in her bottom left molar for over a week. She kept putting off making a dental appointment, popping ibuprofen, and applying ice packs to get through the pain. But one night, Jen felt her jaw swelling rapidly. By morning, she noticed the left side of her face was massively swollen. She could barely open her mouth or swallow. 

Jen finally went to the emergency room, where she was diagnosed with a dental abscess. Intravenous antibiotics were started, but Jen still required multiple dental surgeries and extraction of several left molars in the subsequent days. If only Jen had sought emergency dental care when she first noticed the tooth pain, she could have avoided hospitalization and permanent tooth loss.

Importance of Seeking Immediate Care

As Jen’s story illustrates, ignoring a toothache instead of seeking prompt care can allow minor dental issues to escalate into dangerous infections and dental emergencies. Prolonged tooth pain is the body’s warning sign that bacteria invade tooth structures and jaw bones. Left unchecked, these infections can have severe and even life-threatening consequences. 

Additionally, damaged teeth will continue to decay and crack without treatment, eventually requiring extraction. Our emergency dental services in Knoxville, TN, provide immediate care nights, weekends, and holidays for painful, swollen, or worrying dental symptoms. We can stop infections, relieve pain, prescribe antibiotics, and extract damaged teeth as needed on an emergency basis.

Dental Infections Can Quickly Become Dangerous

Bacteria gaining access to the tooth’s inner pulp chamber through dental caries or cracks will trigger inflammation and aggregation of pus, forming an abscess. Abscesses at the tooth root tip can lead to swelling, expansion of the infection into the surrounding jawbone (osteomyelitis), sinus involvement, and cellulitis spreading down through the fascial planes of the neck. 

Difficulty breathing and swallowing can occur in cases of Ludwig’s angina with tongue elevation and airway compression. Dental infections releasing bacteria into the bloodstream may even develop into systemic inflammatory response syndrome. Though rare, this is a potentially life-threatening whole-body reaction.

Additional Tooth Damage Often Results

Meanwhile, as infections develop, the structural integrity of affected teeth continues to erode. Minor tooth cracks advance, eventually causing crown and root fractures. Pressure from expanding abscesses may also damage surrounding tooth roots or bone. With prolonged progression, tooth loss is inevitable without treatment. 

In attempts to manage intense pain before seeking professional dental care, people often inadvertently harm other teeth as well. Applying heat or ice directly to the toothache can damage the periodontium. Refraining from chewing leads to plaque accumulation and increased decay risk for unaffected teeth. Excessive ibuprofen or acetaminophen use irritates the gastric lining.

Signs Emergency Dental Care is Needed Immediately

Any of these suggest a spreading dental infection and demands prompt emergency dental care.

  • Unmanaged, worsening pain and facial swelling
  • Bleeding from the gums around a painful tooth, even without an inciting injury
  • Bad tastes or smells coming from a particular tooth or gums
  • Visible cracks in a tooth, shifting/loosening of teeth
  • Unexplained fevers, chills, nausea, or general malaise
  • Soft tissue ulceration and difficulty swallowing

Our Emergency Dental Services at Knoxville, TN

At Foutain City Smiles, Dr. Patel and the dental team provide prompt emergency dental care seven days a week. Request the first available emergency appointment time slot, even if it means taking time off work or other obligations. We also offer extended hours, and emergency walk-ins are always welcome.

Our experienced emergency dentists can prescribe antibiotics, drain abscesses, provide professional cleaning if indicated, and extract non-restorable infected teeth as needed for immediate pain relief. 

Post-extraction care instructions are provided, and patients are referred to partner dentistry practices for any follow-up restoration after the acute infection has resolved. We offer clear pricing, and financing options, and accept most major insurance plans.

Frequently Asked Questions

Urgent Dental Care When You Need It Most 

Don’t make Jen’s painful mistake — at the first sign of worrying dental symptoms, contact our  Knoxville, TN, emergency dental clinic at (865) 888-9674. We have the expertise and availability to treat developing dental infections early, avoiding delayed care and necessitating more invasive treatment. 

You can also fill out our convenient contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve patients in Marble City, Old City, and West Knoxville, TN. We can save your smile and your overall health!

Fountain City Smiles

2944 Tazewell Pike
Knoxville, TN 37918

Office Hours

9am – 6pm
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