Ask anyone which type of pain is one of the most frustrating and they’ll probably identify a toothache. Toothaches make it difficult to eat, drink sleep, or even speak in some instances. If the pain is particularly bad, you may be wondering whether you need emergency dental care or whether you can hold out until your next scheduled dentist appointment. Identifying the possible cause of your toothache can help you determine which step to take.
Knocked out tooth
Falls, sports-related injuries or even biting on food that’s too hard can cause damage to teeth. If your tooth gets knocked out, you should get to the dentist as soon as possible since this qualifies as an emergency. Try not to handle the tooth too much but see if you can place it back in the socket.
If your tooth becomes severely chipped, fractured or broken, you should also seek urgent dental services even if you’re not in pain. The fracture can cause delicate parts of the tooth to be exposed to harmful bacteria and this can lead to decay. This, in turn, can ultimately result in you losing the tooth or having to get a root canal.
Sometimes old fillings can come loose. In this case, you don’t need to rush straight to the dentist but you should seek to get the next available appointment. You can get dental cements at the pharmacy to cover the cavity in the short term. You definitely should not leave the tooth untreated since this can lead to further problems.
Tooth decay occurs when the acids in plaque dissolve the enamel in your tooth. Older cavities may cause pain when you eat or drink hot, cold or sweet foods. You may even be able to see the holes in your teeth. If the pain is severe, you should seek urgent attention but it is generally okay to simply see your dentist as soon as possible.
An abscess is a pocket of pus that forms around the root of an infected tooth. It won’t go away on its own and if it goes untreated, the infection can spread to your head, neck or other parts of the body. You need to see your dentist as soon as possible. If you have a fever, severe swelling, or trouble breathing or swallowing then you need an after-hours emergency appointment.
Another possible cause of pain is teeth grinding which can be caused by stress and anxiety. If it occurs regularly, the teeth can be damaged and other oral health complications can arise. Teeth can fracture, loosen or even be lost.
Chronic grinding may wear teeth down to stumps making it necessary for you to get, bridges, crowns, root canals, implants or even complete dentures.
Since teeth grinding often occurs during sleep, you may not be aware that you’re doing it. It’s not an emergency but if you suspect you’ve been grinding your teeth, make an appointment to see your dentist for help.
No need to be afraid of the dentist
A visit to a dental professional fills many with dread but this no longer needs to be the case. Advances in technology make the experience a lot less painful and a lot more comfortable and safe. According to the Healthcare Guys, today’s dentists stay up to date with current technology in an effort to offer improved patient care. Laser dentistry, digital X-rays and carriers detection solutions make life a much easier.
Toothaches can come from varying sources. Whether you seek an emergency appointment or not depends on how severe the pain is and what is causing it. If you’re still in doubt about whether your case is an emergency, simply call your dentist or medical professional.