Does a Toothache Count as Emergency?didsburyadmin
Whether it is a sharp, jabbing pain, or a dull, throbbing ache, a toothache can be one of the most frustrating ailments to have. Over 40% of adults experience some kind of pain in their mouth annually, showing how common a toothache is. Have you ever developed a toothache and wondered whether it is serious enough to be considered an emergency?
In this blog article, we will answer the question ‘does a toothache count as emergency?’ and describe the topic in more detail, which we hope you find more useful.
Read similar articles about toothaches
Here at Didsbury Dental Practice, we regularly update our blog with articles about all things dental health. We publish these articles to answer frequently asked questions that we know people are searching online if they are experiencing toothache or a dental emergency.
Click here to read our blog articles on:
- Can stress cause toothaches?
- Can you go A&E with toothaches?
- What can be considered as a tooth emergency?
- Is a broken crown a dental emergency?
- Is a loose crown a dental emergency?
- How much is an emergency dentist?
What are the causes of toothache?
A toothache occurs when the innermost layer of the tooth (dental pulp) becomes inflamed.
There are many reasons why you may experience a toothache, such as:
- Tooth decay or cavities
- Loose or broken fillings
- Tooth infection
- Gum disease
- Mouth injury or trauma to the mouth
- An abscess (a painful collection of pus, usually caused by a bacterial infection)
- Grinding your teeth (bruxism)
- Wisdom tooth growing
- Wisdom tooth infection
- Eating hard, crunchy foods, or sugary foods
- Severe stress or anxiety
- Abnormal or misaligned bite
- Ill-fitting dental appliance
- Sinus congestion
- Temporary toothache after recent dental treatment (e.g. getting braces or teeth whitening)
Does a toothache count as emergency?
We all get toothaches, and in many cases, any minor pain usually settles and goes away, with the help of over-the-counter medication.
So, does a toothache count as emergency?
Well, after a few days, if your toothache does not go away with the use of painkillers, and your pain and/or symptoms persist and worsen, then this is a sign that your toothache is serious. We highly recommend that you visit a dentist as soon as you can, as you may need professional treatment.
Read on below to learn more about when your toothache counts as an emergency.
What are the signs that my toothache is serious?
Your toothache would count as an emergency, and you should visit a dental professional as soon as possible if:
- You have excessive bleeding in the mouth.
- You have severe swelling in the mouth, which does not go away after a couple of days.
- You have excruciating pain in your mouth, especially when eating or drinking, which does not go away with over-the-counter medication.
- You have had a tooth knocked out, due to a blow to the face, or a sports injury.
- If you experience constant aching in your jaw, ears, neck or head.
- If you have an unpleasant taste in your mouth, which does not go away after a couple of days.
- If you have pain or sensitivity when eating and drinking very hot or very cold foods.
- If you have broken a crown.
You should call 999 or visit a walk-in Accident & Emergency centre if your toothache is accompanied by:
- difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, or chest pain.
- a fever (this could be a sign of infection spreading in your body).
- difficulty swallowing or speaking.
What might happen if I don’t get my dental emergency looked at?
There are many things that could go wrong if you don’t get your dental emergency looked at by a dentist. Your tooth pain or inflammation may become more severe and thus require more intense treatment to fix.
Ignoring a dental emergency could have harmful consequences for your oral hygiene and even your long-term health.
For instance, the pulp inside your tooth will eventually become infected– which can lead to a dental abscess, severe gum inflammation, or other serious complications.
Similarly, if your tooth has been knocked out, but you don’t see a dentist as soon as possible, then that tooth will no longer be salvageable. To replace that missing tooth, you may require a dental implant, bridge, or denture instead, which is more expensive, time-consuming, and requires more effort, than simply bringing your knocked out tooth for the dentist to install back in.
Moreover, your severe toothache may be an early indicator of gum inflammation or a bacterial infection. But if you don’t visit a dentist, then this may develop into periodontitis, which damages the soft tissue and, without treatment, can destroy the bone that supports your teeth.
Dental emergencies can also affect the entire body- as the bacteria in your mouth can also enter into your bloodstream and create problems like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other medical issues.
All of these examples demonstrate why it is important to see a dentist as soon as a tooth emergency happens. The earlier you get seen by a dental professional, the faster they will be able to help you overcome your problem, prevent further damage, and instruct you on the correct aftercare.
What at-home remedies can I use to deal with a toothache?
Follow these handy tips to help you cope with a toothache:
- Apply ice, or a cold compress to your cheek or jaw, for 20 minutes at a time, to ease swelling in the mouth.
- Gargle with salt water, as this can ease inflammation and get rid of bacteria in the mouth. Children should never do this, however.
- Rinse your mouth with peppermint tea. You can make the tea by pouring boiling water over dried peppermint leaves, or a peppermint tea bag. When you rinse, make sure that the tea is at a lukewarm or cool temperature, and not boiling hot, as it is dangerous to rinse with scalding hot water.
- Tea tree oil contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, so it can heal tooth infections and prevent tooth decay. The natural oil can also penetrate into your gums and help numb the nerves causing your toothache. Rinse your mouth with a mixture of warm water and a couple of drops of tea tree oil. Take care not to swallow the mixture.
- Clove oil can provide relief for a toothache, because it contains the active ingredient eugenol, which is a natural anesthetic. Simply dip a cotton bud or cotton ball in clove oil and then gently swipe this over the affected area in the mouth.
- It may not sound appetizing, but chewing on an onion may bring you relief during a toothache. Onions are a natural antiseptic and can effectively eliminate germs in the mouth.
- Reduce your intake of sugary foods and hard, crunchy foods. You may find it useful to follow a soft food diet until your toothache has gone- so, try eating foods such as soup, porridge, yogurt and pasta.
Emergency dental care at Didsbury Dental Practice
At Didsbury Dental Practice, our emergency dental care is second to none.
Our team of dental professionals can provide treatment for any type of dental emergency: from severe toothache and tooth infections to broken teeth, lost fillings or gum inflammation.
Didsbury Dental Practice has got you covered, at any time of day or night. Dental emergencies can be very painful, so we offer out-of-hours treatment because we know that dental problems don’t always stick to 9.00 am to 12.00 am.
To book an emergency appointment with us, it is not necessary for you to be an existing patient at our practice.
If you experience a dental emergency, simply call our dental emergency helpline on 0161 413 2509, or walk into our dental practice, and we will aim to see you as soon as possible.
Click here to learn more about the emergency dental care offered at Didsbury Dental Practice.
What if I am having a tooth emergency and my dental practice is closed?
Don’t just ignore your dental emergency. Seeking medical attention is always the right thing to do, as it is better to be safe, than sorry.
If you are experiencing a dental emergency and it is out-of-hours, then you should call the NHS 111 service, or use their online service. The telephone operator will point you to the appropriate care. You may need a face-to-face appointment or further treatment, so you will be directed to the right course of action.
We hope we have answered the question ‘does a toothache count as emergency?’
To learn more about Didsbury Dental Practice, visit our website here.
We offer a wide range of dental services and treatments, including teeth whitening, Invisalign, Alias lingual braces, Six Month Smiles Braces and Damon Clear Braces.
If you need an emergency appointment, call our dental emergency helpline on 0161 413 2835, or walk into our practice and we will aim to see you as soon as possible.
Visit our blog to read more articles on dental health.