It may surprise you to learn that no amount of tooth pain is considered normal, regardless of how mild it is. After all, it’s designed to alert you that something is wrong – so don’t just brush it off! But if you have a toothache, does it necessitate an emergency visit or can it wait until your next appointment? Read along to find out when it requires immediate care, what can happen if you neglect to seek treatment, and tips for managing your tooth pain.
When Should I Schedule an Emergency Visit for Tooth Pain?
If you’re able to manage your tooth pain with over-the-counter medication or home remedies, then you should be able to hold off until your next dental appointment. But if you’re in unbearable pain and can’t alleviate any of it with medication, contact your emergency dentist right away for treatment.
The following signs can also indicate that your tooth requires immediate care:
- Pain when pressure is applied to the tooth. Do you feel pain when you touch your tooth or bite down on something? It can be a sign of a severe cavity or faulty restoration.
- Swelling around your face, jaw, or gums. It often indicates that an infection has begun spreading to other parts of the body. You should seek medical care immediately. Otherwise, this could result in life-threatening consequences.
- A fractured tooth or restoration. If you chipped your tooth or restoration, it needs to be repaired right away. It can become sensitive, and the sharp edge can cut your gums, tongue, or cheek.
What Happens If I Ignore Tooth Pain?
Chronic tooth pain can indicate cavities or an infection. If you fail to seek treatment, it could spread to the center of the tooth, infecting the pulp and causing the condition to worsen. You may experience extreme sensitivity at this point – even speaking could be painful!
If the decay progresses, it could eventually lead to the death of the nerve at the root. It may present itself as pain that has suddenly disappeared, and most patients will think that the problem resolved on its own. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Months or years after the nerve dies, a recurring pain will return with a vengeance. That is the result of a fully formed abscess that the cavity developed into.
How Can I Manage Tooth Pain?
Are you suffering from excruciating tooth pain? Contact your emergency dentist right away and schedule a visit. In the meantime, here are some tips to help alleviate your discomfort:
- Use a cold compress on your cheek over the area where the pain is felt
- Rinse your mouth with warm salt water
- Use dental floss to remove any debris stuck between your teeth
- Take over-the-counter medication to minimize the pain
If you’re ever unsure whether an oral health issue requires dental treatment, your best bet will always be to contact your dentist. It’s better to be safe than sorry – especially when it comes to your smile!
About the Author
Dr. Jack Fan brings several years of experience to The Dental Centre in Austin. He pursued his doctorate at New York University College of Dentistry and completed a one-year General Practice Residency at Long Island Jewish Hospital. Dr. Fan and his team understand a dental emergency can strike when you least expect it, which is why they provide same-day services so you can get the relief you deserve. Visit our website or call (512) 892-7800 to schedule an emergency visit.