How We Can Help
Those who have never experienced a serious toothache really don't know just how bad the pain from something as 'minor' as tooth pain can be. Most of those who have been through such pain before, on the other hand, understand all too well just how terrible toothache can be. And although it's often a matter of personal perception, somehow it often seems as if the toothaches that strike late at night, or at the weekend, when most dentists' offices are closed feels even worse than one that strikes during 'regular' business hours.
What Causes Sudden Toothaches
A bad toothache can strike like lightning - and in many cases be so painful that it actually feels like something hit you - but often the problem has been 'brewing' for weeks (or even months).
Untreated tooth decay 'suddenly' leads to the beginnings of a painful infection, or a nerve that has become exposed due to the decay becomes hugely sensitive. Or gum disease results in a painful abscess. Or that wisdom tooth you've been warned about (several) times before is trying to erupt again and causing pain that can be excruciating.
Trauma can lead to a severe toothache as well of course. A blow to the mouth, a tooth that gets cracked or dislodged or an injury to the gum line can all lead to a terrible toothache as well.
When is a Toothache an Emergency?
You've tried Panadol. You've tried taking the afternoon off. You've tried ice. You've tried heat. Your toothache isn't improving though, and, in fact, it seems to be getting worse. But is this really a situation that merits a visit to an emergency dentist or should you just try to tough things out until office hours, even though that is getting harder and harder to do?
In many cases, the simple answer is yes. No one should suffer needlessly, and so if the pain is severe, if it has come on very suddenly and/or has lasted for more than 24 hours a call to an emergency dentist really is the best course of action. It becomes even more important that you do so if your pain is accompanied by a fever or is radiating to other places - your ears for example - as well.
Whatever the cause of your pain is eventually determined to be (more about that in a moment) prompt action can not only help you stop the pain faster but may also help save your tooth (or teeth)
What Can an Emergency Dentist do for Toothaches?
What an emergency dentist will do for your toothache depend upon what the problem is determined to be. Therefore, that will be the first order of business, by way of a full examination and a set of x-rays. Once the cause of your toothache has been diagnosed your dentist will discuss treatment options with you, but they may include any of the following:
- Removal of the tooth or extractions
- Gum Treatment or Periodontal Treatment
- Root Canal Treatment
Can Toothache be Prevented?
Many of the causes of a sudden toothache are indeed preventable. Tooth decay and gum disease can often be prevented with simple good oral hygiene - brushing and flossing at least twice a day, regular visits to the dentist and routine care as needed. If you get into the habit of visiting your dentist every three to six months the simple fact is that you may never need emergency dental treatments at all.