Tooth Pain | Besides being merely uncomfortable, experiencing dental pain can have an effect on numerous aspects of your everyday life, such as brushing your teeth, speaking and eating. If you are experiencing significant pain, it could even impact your sleep. The good news is that there are dentists available that can help with symptoms, but they may not be available at the moment you need them for an emergency, particularly overnight or during the weekend.
How would you know when tooth pain is something you can “grin and bear” with an over-the-counter pain reliever, or you’re getting signs that you need a regular dentist, emergency dentist, or trip to the emergency room?
A tooth abscess is a severe type of infection that reaches into the soft, inner parts of a tooth containing many nerve endings and blood vessels. If you suffer from a tooth abscess, you will probably be in a world of tooth pain and require emergency dental care to alleviate it. Such a tooth would probably require a root canal procedure to save it; otherwise, it may need to be extracted.
Any type of severe tooth pain qualifies as a dental emergency because it means something is seriously wrong that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. This also goes for a toothache that was once manageable, but has now progressed into severe pain.
Knocked Out Tooth
If you or someone you know should have a tooth get knocked out, this is also an emergency situation. Until you can reach an emergency dentist, do the following:
- Handle the tooth only by the crown (the part you chew with).
- If needed, gently clean it with water or milk without scrubbing it or touching the tooth root. Do not dry it off or pat it dry.
- If possible, gently replace the tooth into its socket, being careful to orient it correctly.
- Or, keep the tooth moist in a glass of milk if possible. If no milk is available, water will do.
Visit your dentist for an emergency appointment as soon as possible.
Visiting the ER for Tooth Pain
Emergency rooms are not typically staffed with dentists. So if you have tooth pain that cannot be relieved using over-the-counter tooth pain relievers, feel free to schedule an appointment with your regular dentist, even if they are not available right away.
If you experience any of the following, always visit the emergency room:
- Facial trauma
- Cuts within the mouth
- Broken or dislocated jaw
- Severe swelling
- Abscess that makes it difficult to swallow
- Untreated infection
- Swelling or pain radiating to the neck
- Any condition affecting your breathing
- Loose tooth