Tooth Pain as an Emergency

When we think of a dental emergency, it is likely that your first idea is of a missing tooth. While that is an immediate emergency, it is not the only reason you should seek out emergency dental treatment. There are instances when tooth pain is an emergency. In fact, pain is an indicator that something is wrong.

However, emergency tooth pain is not like a regular, dull toothache. Although you should mention all pain and discomfort to your dentist, minor aches or sensitivity can wait for a routine appointment. If you experience extreme pain combined with other symptoms, you need to contact your dentist immediately. 

3D cartoon image of a tooth wearing a stethoscope tooth pain emergency dentistry dentist in Nashville Tennessee

When Should You Call?

You should never have to suffer tooth pain. Mild to moderate tooth pain means that you should make an appointment. If you have pain after consuming hot or cold foods or drinks, it might mean that you have a cavity. However, it is not necessarily an emergency. Although, a cavity can become a significant problem without treatment. 

Severe or extreme pain is a valid reason to call your dentist for emergency treatment. Generally, a problem that causes a large amount of pain needs quick treatment. 

Another symptom you should look for when you experience tooth pain is a fever. A fever is your body’s way of telling you that there is something wrong. More specifically, a fever is an immune response to an infection. Symptoms of an infection include chills, muscle aches, sweating, or a headache. The easiest way to check for a fever is to use a thermometer. If you have a fever combined with pain, you should contact your dentist immediately. 

Finally, swollen gums are another sign that you should seek emergency dental treatment. Swollen gums are another sign that you have an infection in your mouth. Without treatment, an infection can cause significant damage to your teeth and the rest of your body. For example, an infection within your mouth can spread to other parts of your body. In particular, the infection can travel through your bloodstream, which is known as blood poisoning. 

Reasons for Tooth Pain

One reason that you may experience tooth pain is due to a cavity. A cavity is a decayed portion of the enamel that can continue to burrow into the pulp. Over time, a cavity can become infected, causing significant pain. 

Additionally, a broken or fractured tooth can cause pain. There are several ways that you can crack a tooth, including your diet. Hard foods, such as nuts or hard candies, can easily break a tooth. Although, there are some people who naturally have thinner enamel than others. Unfortunately, this means that their teeth are more susceptible to breaking or chipping. While some breaks are not emergent, other fractures need immediate repair. 

Finally, one of the most common reasons for severe tooth pain is an infection or abscess. An abscess is a bacterial infection within the center of your tooth. Both an infection and an abscess need immediate attention.