A Toothache: When Does It Become an Emergency?

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a toothache when does it become an emergency

A toothache is one of those pains that can quickly escalate from a minor annoyance to a debilitating agony. While many toothaches can be managed at home or with a routine dental appointment, there are times when they become emergencies that require immediate attention from a professional emergency dentist near you. Recognizing when a toothache becomes an emergency can empower you to take quick action and avoid more serious complications.

Causes of Toothache 

A toothache is an uncomfortable and often painful sensation that occurs around or within a tooth. It can range from mild discomfort to excruciating pain, disrupting daily activities and impacting overall well-being.  

Here are some common causes of toothaches: 

Tooth decay: Cavities from tooth decay make toothaches happen. If you don’t treat them, they can go deep into your tooth and make it hurt because they reach the nerve inside.

Gum disease: When gum disease gets bad, it can cause your gums to recede, showing the roots of your teeth. This can make your teeth hurt and feel sensitive.

Dental abscess: A pocket of pus from a bacterial infection can form around your tooth or between your tooth and gum. It can be really painful and cause swelling.

Cracked tooth: If your tooth gets cracked or broken, it can make the inside parts hurt, especially when you bite or chew.

Impacted wisdom tooth: When wisdom teeth can’t come out right, they can cause pain, swelling, and infection as they try to break through your gums.

Signs It’s an Emergency

Intense pain: If your tooth hurts a lot and regular painkillers don’t help, it might mean something serious like an abscess or infection.

Swelling: Swelling around your tooth or gums could mean there’s an infection that needs quick treatment to stop it from getting worse.

Fever: Having a fever along with a toothache often means there’s an infection that needs to be treated quickly to avoid problems.

Trouble swallowing or breathing: If it’s hard to swallow or breathe because of your toothache, it could mean there’s a serious infection that needs urgent care.

Continuous bleeding: If your gums keep bleeding or if there’s bleeding around your tooth that won’t stop, it might mean there’s a serious problem that needs emergency dental care.

What to Do During an Emergency?

Call your dentist: If you experience any of these symptoms, don’t hesitate to call your dentist immediately. They can advise you on whether you should come in right away or if it’s safe to wait until your next scheduled appointment.

Manage pain: While you’re waiting to see the dentist, you can ease the pain with painkillers you can buy without a prescription. Also, rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater can help.

Avoid certain foods: Stay away from foods that are hot, cold, or hard, as they can make the pain worse or damage your tooth more.

When to Seek Emergency Dental Care

If you notice any of the signs mentioned above, it is really important to get emergency dental help quickly. Ignoring a toothache or waiting too long to treat it can cause bigger problems, like losing your tooth. Your dentist knows how to deal with dental emergencies and can help you feel better and stop your oral health from getting worse.

Not all toothaches require urgent dental care. If you’re experiencing mild to moderate pain without any of the emergency signs listed above, you can typically wait for a routine dental appointment.

Preventing Dental Emergencies

Brushing and flossing your teeth on a regular basis is essential for good oral hygiene.

Visit your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings.

Avoid chewing on hard objects that may damage your teeth.

If you participate in contact sports, consider wearing a mouthguard to protect your teeth from injury.

To sum it up, a toothache should never be ignored, especially if it’s accompanied by severe pain, swelling, or other symptoms of a dental emergency. Knowing when to seek emergency dental care can help prevent serious complications and preserve your oral health.

Let us Help You with Dental Emergencies! 

At Somba Ké Family Dental, we understand the urgency of dental emergencies and are here to provide prompt, compassionate care when you need it most. Whether you’re in severe pain, dealing with infections, or facing injuries, our caring team of dentist in Yellowknife is prepared to provide prompt care. Count on us to relieve your discomfort and restore your oral health with personalized treatment designed just for you. You don’t have to suffer alone—we’re here to support you every step of the way.

Schedule your visit today and experience the difference exceptional dental care can make!