When Is Tooth Pain a Dental Emergency?
Are you wondering whether your tooth pain can constitute a dental emergency? Tooth pain is a common experience for many people, especially those with cavities or dental diseases. If tooth pain is suddenly causing a disturbance, you may be torn between treating it as a dental emergency or just waiting for the pain to go away on its own or with the help of painkillers. Almost everyone would rather visit the dentist based on a schedule instead of rushing to the dental office due to a problem.
Tooth pain as a dental emergency
Dentists typically classify a dental emergency as an oral health problem that needs immediate treatment. The body has its way of indicating when something is wrong somewhere. If there is a problem with your oral health, you may notice pain around a particular area. Tooth pain can occur due to trauma or infection. The following are signs that tooth pain is a dental emergency:
Persistent bleeding with aching gums
A loose or knocked-out tooth due to sports injury or accident
Lost or loose crown
Severe pain around the tooth or gum area
Gum or facial swelling
Tooth abscesses or infections
Cracked or broken tooth
Multiple factors can cause severe tooth pain and these symptoms should not be overlooked. If the pain persists or worsens, and the tooth becomes more sensitive to touch or temperature, the patient should have it examined immediately. A bleeding tooth or gum is not normal and means something is wrong. The most common causes of tooth pain are tooth decay and infections.
Tooth decay is also known as cavities or dental caries. Dental caries is cavities that form in or between the teeth when patients do not brush or floss regularly or thoroughly. It happens when bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar and other food particles left on the teeth after meals. Over time, the bacteria produce acid that eats away at the enamel surface of the patient's teeth and causes white spots on them. Eventually, this will destroy all of the layers inside of the tooth, including the nerve tissue. In turn, the pain can be unbearable when chewing or having anything cold or hot.
Infections around the roots where they meet with gums can cause swelling and pain as well as drainage from sores and abscesses to form over them as pus leaks outwards and across surrounding skin tissue. The infection can travel outwardly down the lower jaw bones toward the ears, becoming red, pink, and yellow. In addition, the puss-filled areas contain dead tissue debris that can potentially travel to major arteries in the body. If this happens, the patient is now considered at high risk of having more severe consequences.
In addition, a loose or knocked-out tooth could mean damage to the gum tissues, nerves, and jaw. It could result from dental trauma or severe infection and needs immediate treatment. Swelling is usually the sign of infection, which may occur with dizziness, fever, or a bad taste from pus formation. The severity of the symptoms may vary, but urgent dental care is necessary in all cases. Patients need to call a dentist and explain their situation in detail.
How to handle tooth pain
Patients who are experiencing tooth pain need to contact a dental professional as soon as possible. If the pain is too severe and makes speaking difficult, one can have someone else explain the situation. If the issue occurred during office hours, the dentist would probably recommend visiting the dental office immediately. If the emergency happens during off-hours, it is better to see a dentist's office dealing with dental emergencies. Timeliness is often required to reverse certain situations like a knocked-out tooth.
The dentist will want to know when the symptoms started and the actions that worsen the pain. This information will help the dental professional with their assessment and diagnosis. Before getting to the dental office, patients can take first-aid measures like using a cold compress, pain relievers, or rinsing the mouth with warm water.
Do not wait to deal with a dental emergency
If you are experiencing tooth pain, it is important to seek emergency dental care as soon as possible. An emergency dentist can perform a thorough examination to determine the true cause of your symptoms and recommend effective treatment options for your condition. Choosing to wait instead of seeking treatment can cause more damage than necessary.
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If you or a loved one is experiencing a dental emergency reach out to Family Choice Dental's Albuquerque office by calling (505) 634-5657. To learn more about our services and process, visit us at https://familychoicedentistry.com.
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