Why Is A Persistent Toothache Considered A Dental Emergency?

Toothaches happen for a reason— they are your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. If you have a persistent, painful toothache that lasts more than a day or two, this may be a sign of an infected tooth.

A tooth infection occurs when the hard enamel and dentin of your tooth are damaged, and the interior “pulp” is exposed to oral bacteria. This pulp is full of tiny nerves and blood vessels, so when it becomes infected, it can cause serious pain and discomfort.

Infected teeth are often caused by uncontrolled cavities, but may also occur if your tooth is cracked or broken, exposing the underlying pulp. Without immediate care, your tooth infection will only get worse, and can eventually die and fall out of your mouth.

For this reason, a toothache is considered a dental emergency. Root canal therapy may be required to disinfect the tooth and save it. If you have a toothache in Ellicott City, Font Hill, or Dunloggin, contact Pinnacle Family Dental as soon as you can to get the care you need.

Why Is It Important To Get Treatment Right Away?

First, getting treatment from Dr. Kim for an issue like a broken, infected, or damaged tooth is the best way to get relief from pain and discomfort. We can provide you with numbing agents and sedation as soon as you arrive and treat your tooth to address the source of your pain immediately.

Timely treatment also results in a better outcome for your oral health. If you lose a tooth, for example, it usually must be re-implanted within 1-2 hours for it to take root properly. Otherwise, it may be rejected.

Finally, getting emergency treatment right away helps prevent further complications. If you have a toothache and ignore it, for example, your tooth could become irreversibly damaged. A root canal can usually save an infected tooth, but if you don’t get treatment in time, the tooth may need to be extracted and replaced with a dental implant, which is a more costly, difficult procedure.

What NOT To Do In A Dental Emergency

First, don’t panic. Dental emergencies are painful, but rarely life-threatening. Stay calm, and contact Pinnacle Family Dental for an appointment right away.

If you want to take medicine to relieve the pain until you see Dr. Kim, you should avoid taking aspirin if your mouth is bleeding, since it can interfere with blood clotting. Instead, take naproxen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).

You should also avoid going to the emergency room. Typically, emergency rooms do not have dentists on-hand, so you may end up simply getting a referral to a nearby emergency dentist.

There are some exceptions, though. If you believe your life is in danger, you should go to the ER. A few examples of serious problems that may require an ER visit include:

  • Severe bleeding that will not stop
  • A broken or damaged jaw
  • Serious head trauma
  • Swelling that is interfering with breathing and swallowing

Ready to schedule an appointment? Contact us today!

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