Is toothache considered a dental emergency?
Some people might not consider toothache to be a dental emergency but it’s really an individual condition that has to be taken on a case-by-case basis; you can’t possibly say that all types of toothache do not represent a serious problem with dental health. Basically, if you are suffering with pain and you do not want to leave it untreated for a long period of time you should mention it to your dentist or make an appointment with an emergency clinic; even if your discomfort is only mild, it could be an early sign of decay that needs to be treated. It could transpire that there is nothing seriously wrong with your teeth but you are better safe than sorry when it comes to your dental health, so it’s best to get the problem assessed before long. Click here for general dentistry services.
What symptoms should I be on the lookout for?
Although toothache is fairly recognisable it does come in several different forms that indicate problems which may require treatment in an emergency form. Let’s take a look at the different types of toothache and how they would need to be treated;
Sharp toothache – A shooting pain that runs through the tooth is typically related to decay that has damaged the enamel; cavities form in the surface of the tooth as a result of poor oral hygiene, they will gradually eat through the mineral structure and expose the inner pulp tissue to outside elements. Due to the damage to the enamel, the nerves inside the pulp tissue will react with pain whenever pressure is put onto the teeth to bite and chew; it may be quite alarming when it first flares up but this is really your best chance at avoiding further problems with decay, you should report this to your dentist as soon as you get chance. If it is just a simple case of your dentist will have to carry out a filling procedure; this means that the rotten minerals are removed from the tooth, then replaced with a filler material to reinforce the structure.
Throbbing pain – If you have never had toothache before then you might not be familiar with the throbbing sensation that can develop as a result of the pulp infection; the tooth and it’s root will start to pulse with pain because the nerves inside the pulp tissue become inflamed and infected. Normal methods of pain relief may be successful in the first stages of the condition but the throbbing discomfort will become more aggressive and it will probably be more difficult to ignore.
In order to stop this problem before it puts your teeth at risk, your dentist will have to perform a root canal to remove the pulp tissue and restore the tooth to good function. The infected pulp has to be excavated and the decayed minerals are then replaced with some sort of filler material – such as resin or amalgam. A porcelain crown is usually placed over the tooth fragments to hold them together and allow them to function as a normal tooth would; this will make the tooth look nicer too, as root-treated teeth can often become discoloured over time.
Recurring bouts of toothache – Toothache may not be a constant problem, it can sometimes come and go over time; if the pain dies down without the need for dental treatment this does not actually mean that the condition has recovered by itself, it normally means that the infection has moved more deeply into the tissue. This kind of toothache may respond to painkillers in the early stages, but without treatment at the source of the problem, it will invariably flare up again and the discomfort will become more difficult to cope with.
Recurring pain may also spread to other areas of the face, neck, and even the shoulders if it is not treated; this happens because the nerves endings in the surrounding tissue become inflamed and the pain radiates whenever the toothache develops again. Very bad toothache may start to disrupt eating, sleeping, and cleaning habits, which can make it very hard to maintain a normal daily routine. A course of antibiotics may be needed to fight the infection from within the body.
Extreme pain – If you are in a lot of pain from your teeth, you will probably already be aware that you need to speak to a dentist and get the painful tooth assessed; there’s no reason to leave the problem untreated for a long time when there is help available twenty-four hours a day. Extreme pain is unlikely to respond to normal painkillers once the condition has reached a more aggressive stage; when it becomes severely painful it is typically due to infection that has deteriorated to a difficult stage.
If you notice other symptoms alongside your toothache, such as dizziness or nausea, you should get to the hospital rather than the dental clinic; these things could indicate blood poisoning, which may be serious if it is left untreated for a long time. It is unlikely that toothache is going to put your life at risk in most cases but you would be better off getting dental treatment before the situation deteriorates to this point anyway.
Will I be a low priority if my only symptom is toothache?
Compared to dental trauma, toothache might not seem like a serious concern, but there’s really no such thing as a low priority patient when it comes to dental care – if you have more serious injuries that might put your general health at risk, you should be going to the hospital rather than the dental clinic anyway.
When you arrive at the surgery or you get in touch over the phone to make an appointment, you will be given a booking time and then referred for treatment at that time; you won’t be pushed down the list every time someone comes into the surgery with more serious injuries than you. Hopefully, you should be able to get an appointment within twenty-four hours of contacting the surgery, so you won’t be left in pain for a long period of time.
If you have a toothache and you would like to get your teeth assessed to see what the problem is related to, you should get in touch with the London Cosmetic Dentistry. This London surgery can provide emergency appointments to both registered and non-registered patients.