Persistent oral pain or extensive decay may send a patient to a general dentist, who must then advise whether the patient should try to save the tooth or have it pulled. To save the tooth, a root canal procedure may be necessary. This involves removing the infected pulp of the tooth and replacing it with…
When a Toothache May Be a Dental Emergency
When it comes to a toothache, you will need to decide the type of dental service required. Sometimes, that means scheduling an appointment with your dentist at your earliest convenience. Other times, it indicates that you need to seek emergency care. To help you make the right decision, find out why constitutes a dental emergency.
Take a toothache seriously
Unfortunately, some people do not take a toothache seriously. Rather than going to the dentist, they ignore the pain and other symptoms. That puts their other teeth and gums at risk. If an infection causes a toothache, not seeking emergency care could even put other parts of the body at risk. This is why everyone should know when a toothache indicates that something is serious.
Experiencing pain for an extended period
When mild, a toothache often goes away in roughly one to two days. So, experiencing pain that lasts longer should prompt an individual to seek emergency treatment. After performing a dental exam, the dentist might find that nothing major is going on. At the same time, the dentist could identify a full-blown infection or underlying problem that could become serious.
Constant and severe pain
Even a mild toothache causes discomfort. However, in severe cases, the pain is debilitating. Some people feel dizzy, get headaches, and become nauseated, all because of a toothache. Anytime the pain worsens or gets to that level, a person needs to go to a dental clinic immediately. In this situation, emergency care is the right option.
People injure teeth all the time. This occurs for many reasons, such as falling off a bike, getting hit in the face, or playing contact sports. No matter the cause, any injury to a tooth is an emergency. Even a small chip needs immediate attention. In some instances, waiting to have an injured tooth examined could result in a nasty infection. Most often, by getting help right away, a dentist can salvage a tooth.
Foul odor, discharge, or fever
A foul odor or discharge coming from the mouth with or without a fever means the person needs emergency dental care. Usually, these three things go together. However, an individual might experience just one or two. Regardless, all these symptoms indicate a bacterial infection. If left untreated, the infection could spread to other areas of the mouth and body.
This type of dental emergency can happen at any time. The patient must leave with the tooth right away. Calling the dentist in advance can make the re-implantation quick. Placing the tooth in milk will keep it alive and moist.
A baby tooth will be tricky to re-implant. The dentist will use space maintainers to save the dental gap for the emerging permanent tooth. A knocked-out permanent tooth will need a careful assessment for a dental replacement. Dental implant surgery may be necessary.
Traditional, lingual, or ceramic braces can break. The wires can misalign and stick out. Rubber elastics can pop out. These can affect the treatment and hurt the soft tissues in the mouth. The pain can be unbearable. An emergency dentist can repair the orthodontics and help treat the injuries.
Missing crown or filling
The moment these fillings crack, break, or fall out, they will need proper repairs or replacements. Any type of trauma can cause fillings or crowns to dislodge. The dentist will bring back the tooth’s normal function and appearance. This can also strengthen the affected teeth and prevent future damage.
Continuous bleeding after a dental extraction
Minimal bleeding and pain are normal after dental extraction. If the bleeding persists or increases an hour later, the patient must go back to the dentist. Placing a sterile gauze pad over the site and biting down on it can help stop the bleeding. The patient must refrain from eating, rinsing, and drinking while this happens. Smoking and sucking are not advisable as well.
Benefits of emergency dental care
Whether a toothache or some other concern, emergency dental care corrects problems quickly and properly. Sometimes, a person can wait to see their dentist, which is fine. However, for situations such as those mentioned, it is nice to know that emergency clinics exist. This is also a great way to seek help after normal business hours, over the weekend, and during the holidays.
You might visit an emergency dental clinic only to find out the problem is not serious. There is nothing wrong with that. When it comes to your teeth and gums, it is better to be proactive. After all, a mild toothache could hide a serious problem. To avoid an emergency, remember to floss and brush daily. Also, have a dentist examine your teeth every six months.
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