Wondering whether a damaged tooth constitutes a dental emergency? Read on to find out. A damaged tooth may be considered a dental emergency if it causes severe and borderline intolerable discomfort (pain, swelling, sensitivity), causes a severe cosmetic issue, or is at risk of worsening complications, such as the loss of the tooth or the…
When Is a Toothache a Dental Emergency?
Like a medical emergency, a dental emergency is nothing to take lightly or ignore. There are times when you will need to see the general dentist immediately to relieve pain or address urgent oral health issues. Not all situations will require this level of care. It is helpful to know when something, such as a toothache, needs a prompt trip to the dentist’s office. There are some guidelines you can follow so that you can feel comfortable with your decision.
The causes of toothaches
Most people experience tooth pain or sensitivity from time to time. Decay is one of the most common reasons why these sensations occur. A cavity can inflame the pulp, which contains the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels. An infection in the tooth, known as an abscess, can also be a culprit for tooth pain. Trauma to the tooth, such as a fracture or crack, may also result in discomfort or irritation. Teeth can also hurt when an individual has jaw pain.
The pain does not go away
A toothache does not necessarily signal that there is a dental emergency. If the pain is intermittent or only shows up occasionally, the patient can probably wait for the next general checkup. However, if the pain is consistent and persistent for several days or more, a trip to the dentist’s office is necessary. People should also consider this an emergency if pain medication and other interventions have little or no effect.
The pain increases
Minor tooth pain may show up when the individual eats something hot, cold, or sugary. However, it is a dental emergency if the patient notices an increase in the intensity of the pain. If the discomfort gradually gets more severe, the person should call the dentist and schedule a time to come in as soon as possible. The patient should pay attention to how much the pain has increased and how fast this has happened.
A dental emergency if the pain affects daily life
Physical ailments are a part of life. With many issues, people learn to cope and carry on with daily routines. It is a dental emergency when significant tooth pain keeps a person from doing basic tasks. When a toothache interferes with a person’s quality of life, it is time to see the general dentist. The most profound toothaches can inhibit a person’s sleep and make it difficult to eat. This level of discomfort may keep an individual from working or enjoying other activities.
Getting the right help
The good news is that if you have a dental emergency, you can get the fast relief you need. Your dentist can examine you and determine the cause of your pain. By filling a cavity, performing a root canal, or repairing a damaged tooth, you can once again feel well and be free of agonizing pain. Your dentist will have the knowledge and training to help you feel well once more. Be aware of these factors so you can see the dentist right away when your oral health is at risk.
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