According to the 2019 National Health Interview Survey, about 65% of adults visited the dentist at least once in that year. Almost 86% of children between 2-17 visited the dentist at least once in the previous year.
While some of these visits include routine checkups and procedures, many people visit the dentist for emergency care. Severe toothache is one reason for an emergency dental visit.
This guide will provide more information on severe toothache and what you should do if you’re experiencing it. Continue reading if you want to learn more.
What Causes Toothache?
Severe toothache is a serious issue and getting to the bottom of it should start with determining what causes it. While some toothache isn’t a cause for alarm, some things can lead to toothache severe enough to require emergency dental care.
Tooth decay is one thing that can cause severe toothache over time. A small cavity can cause a little sensitivity, but the bigger the cavity grows, the larger the decay will be. Once the cavity has reached the pulp chamber, the pain will become unbearable.
Chipped or broken teeth can also lead to severe pain. While a broken tooth might not cause significant damage if you’re feeling a lot of pain and bleeding, this isn’t a good sign.
An infection in your teeth will also cause a lot of pain. This isn’t something that should be left untreated.
What Symptoms Make a Toothache Severe?
You should be able to tell the difference between some tooth pain and severe toothache. Not all toothaches require emergency care, but certain instances do. Excessive bleeding and pain from a knocked-out tooth do require emergency dental care.
If you have tooth pain from time to time, this can be resolved with some over-the-counter medication. When you have tooth pain that doesn’t go away, you should see a dental professional.
Some other symptoms that indicate more severity include fever, swollen gums, an abscess, or trouble swallowing. These symptoms accompanied by severe toothache require a visit to the emergency dentist.
What Aren’t Types of Dental Emergencies?
There are a few dental issues that aren’t considered dental emergencies. You should know what these are as well. This way you’ll know the appropriate steps to take for your specific situation.
If you do have a cracked tooth without pain, you can wait for an appointment with your dentist. If you start experiencing pain before your appointment date, call your dentist for an emergency consultation, though.
If your toothache isn’t too severe and you’re able to manage your pain with something over-the-counter, you can wait for an appointment to see your dentist. As long as there aren’t signs of infection, you should be okay.
This Is What Happens at the Dentist Office
If you do have a situation where you’re suffering from a severe and unmanageable toothache, you might want to know what you’ll experience at the emergency dentist.
Once you get to the dental office you’ll have to fill out a medical history. The dentist will then conduct a physical exam of your mouth and teeth to determine what issues you’re having, and figure out what caused the pain.
Your dentist will ask you a few questions about the severity of the pain and when it started. They’ll also want to know where it hurts the most and if anything makes the pain more severe or better.
Your dentist might take a few X-rays to help see a clearer picture of the issue.
Severe Toothache Treatment Available
After the proper examinations and tests, your dentist will explain the severe toothache treatment you need. The exact treatment will differ depending on your situation. You might also have a few different options to choose from for your issue.
If the cause of your toothache is a cavity, your dentist will likely fill it. A more severe cavity might require a tooth extraction.
An infection in your tooth’s nerve will require a root canal. Your dentist will prescribe you an antibiotic to reduce swelling and fever if you experience any after the procedure.
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Ways to Prevent Toothache
If you’re worried about the condition of your teeth reaching such a severe condition, there are things you can do to prevent it. The majority of toothaches occur because of tooth decay. If you have basic oral hygiene practices in place, you can prevent toothache altogether.
Make sure you brush your teeth a minimum of twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. You should also be flossing once a day.
Use an antiseptic mouthwash when you brush your teeth as well. This can help you get rid of the bacteria you weren’t able to reach with brushing or flossing. Seeing your dentist every six months for a cleaning is vital as well.
Avoid too much sugar in your food or drinks. This should help you avoid tooth decay too.
What You Can Do at Home
Managing a toothache at home is possible if it isn’t too severe. These home remedies should only be used if you’re feeling a mild discomfort, however. Worsening pain means you should see a dentist right away.
Saltwater gargles and a hydrogen peroxide rinse can help clear out bacteria to prevent you from developing tooth decay. Oil pulling is said to help keep teeth healthy too. Coconut oil is one of the best oils for your teeth.
What You Should Do When You Experience Severe Toothache
If you’re experiencing a severe toothache, it’s important to find an emergency dentist right away. They’ll examine your teeth and determine what treatment you need to fix the issue and reduce your pain.
Check out the other health blogs on our site if you found helpful information in this one.