If you've always taken excellent care of your teeth, it may come as a shock when you have tooth pain. You might wonder if mild pain is a reason to call your dentist. Here's a look at when tooth pain needs immediate treatment and what you can expect when you see your dentist.
When Tooth Pain Is An Emergency
If tooth pain bothers you after you've bumped a tooth or had a tooth injury, you should see a dentist as soon as you can. The tooth might be cracked, and a break in the enamel can allow bacteria to get to the pulp of your tooth. Also, if the tooth fell out or chipped off during the injury, get to an emergency dentist right away. A dentist can sometimes save an injured tooth if it is treated promptly.
Another time tooth pain is an emergency is when the pain is severe and nothing you do provides relief. Prolonged pain is a huge stress on your body and nerves, and you want relief as soon as possible. If the pain is accompanied by swelling or a discharge around the tooth, the tooth is probably infected, and seeing a dentist as soon as possible is important to prevent the spread of the infection. If you're ever in doubt as to whether you need immediate care, call your dentist for advice. If your dentist's office is closed, contact an emergency dental clinic.
When Minor Pain Should Be Treated
Pain in a tooth is a sign of some type of dental problems. It might be decay, infection, injury, or thinning enamel. The pain may come and go or be mild and not too bothersome. You don't want to ignore dental pain because it could get worse suddenly and become quite severe, or you could develop a worsening infection. Instead, make an appointment to see your dentist when there is an available opening.
If your regular checkup is scheduled within a few weeks, you might be able to wait until then depending on how you feel. If your next dental appointment is months away, you may not want to wait that long to have your pain checked out. A small cavity is less stressful to deal with and fix than a larger one that's become infected.
When you see your dentist for an evaluation, you may have an x-ray to help determine the cause of your pain. The treatment will depend on the dental problem you have and might include taking antibiotics, having a filling, getting a root canal, pulling the tooth, or having a crown put on.
For more information, contact a clinic like Lake Pleasant Dentistry.