No matter what you do, dental emergencies can happen. And usually at the most inconvenient times. It can be scary when you are eating something hard and a tooth cracks or a filling falls out, leading to unbearable pain. If you need an emergency dentist, contact the office of Arthur Glosman, DDS, right away.
The primary reason for toothaches is tooth decay. Your mouth harbors a certain amount of bacteria that thrive on sugary foods and drinks. Over time, these bacteria form a sticky film over your teeth. This film is called plaque.
The bacteria within this plaque biofilm can eventually damage the outer part of your tooth known as enamel. Now you have a cavity. The first indication that something is wrong typically occurs when you experience pain when eating or drinking something sweet or something that is extremely hot or cold. At times, decay may be evident as a dark-colored spot on the tooth.
Some other causes of a toothache include:
* Accumulated food between teeth, particularly with teeth that have spaces between them
* Red and inflamed gums near the problem tooth
* Tooth trauma, such as grinding your teeth or an injury
* Tooth fracture or fracture of a tooth root
* A widening split in a tooth that occurs gradually
* Teeth that erupt through the gums without enough room to properly emerge
* A sinus infection leading to pain in the teeth
What To Do
If you are experiencing a toothache, there are some steps that you can take before seeing your dentist. Begin by thoroughly rinsing your mouth with warm water. Remove any plaque or food particles found between your teeth using dental floss.
You may get some relief by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever. Avoid placing aspirin or any other type of painkiller up against your gums, since this may lead to gum tissue damage.
In cases where tooth trauma leads to a toothache, you may get some relief by applying a cold compress outside the cheek.
Call our office immediately when you have any of the following symptoms:
* Persistent pain lasting over a day or two
* Symptoms of an infection like pain and swelling when biting, red, inflamed gums or a foul taste in the mouth
* Difficulty breathing or swallowing
How a Toothache is Treated
Dr. Glosman must conduct a physical examination to properly treat your toothache and discover its underlying cause. He may ask you a few simple questions about your perception of the pain that you are experiencing, the location of the pain, what makes it grow worse, and what helps alleviate the pain.
During your oral examination, Dr. Glosman will examine your gums, mouth, tongue, teeth, jaw, nose, ears, neck and sinuses. He may also order that x-rays be taken, or any other needed tests be performed to correctly diagnose the cause of your pain.
An abscessed tooth is one that has developed an infection, leading to something called an abscess. This is a pocket of pus that develops around the root of the affected tooth. No one is immune from getting an abscessed tooth.
The key thing to remember about an abscessed tooth is that it will not get better on its own. You will need to visit us so that we can save this tooth. Left untreated, a tooth abscess may result in the infection spreading to places like your head, neck or other places.
Causes of Tooth Abscesses
Although your tooth is surrounded by enamel, its inside is very soft, consisting of blood vessels, connective tissue and nerves. The soft tissue is known as pulp. In some cases, it can grow infected. A tooth infection can be caused by:
* Tooth decay or a deep cavity
* Gum disease, medically known as periodontal disease
* Fractured tooth
If this infection is untreated, it can kill the dental pulp, leading to the formation of an abscess. Tooth abscesses come in two forms:
* An abscess at the tip of the tooth root is known as a periapical abscess.
* Abscesses of the bone next to the tooth are called periodontal abscesses.
Sometimes people develop more than one tooth abscess. They can spread through the bone and emerge in different locations. But each one begins in only one tooth before spreading.
Tooth Abscess Symptoms
* Pain and swelling
* Gum redness
* Bad taste in the mouth
* Jaw pain
* Fever or swollen lymph nodes
* Difficulty swallowing or breathing
Abscessed Tooth Treatment
It is common to experience pain and swelling as a symptom of a tooth abscess, but sometimes you may not notice any symptoms. This usually means that the pocket of pus is draining somewhere.
If you are free of symptoms of a tooth abscess, we may still be able to detect it using x-rays. We may tap the tooth to see if it has become sensitive.
Knocked Out Tooth
It is not uncommon to experience a knocked out tooth due to an injury or accident. Fortunately, many teeth can be saved and replanted if dealt with quickly.
If you or someone you know has a tooth that is knocked out, you must act quickly and visit the nearest dentist. Here are the steps that you need to take until you are able to reach medical support:
1. Pick up the tooth by the crown, not the root. Handle it delicately, and remember to refrain from touching the root of the tooth. Handle it only by the crown, or chewing surface.
2. If the tooth is not clean, rinse it carefully with water. Do not use any chemicals or soap, and do not scrub the tooth. Do not wrap the tooth in a cloth or tissue.
3. Immediately place the tooth back into its socket, if possible.
4. Keep the tooth moist at all times. This can be in your mouth, or in some milk when the tooth cannot be replaced. Do not use regular tap water, since the tooth root should not remain in contact with tap water for an extended period.
5. See the nearest dentist within 30 minutes. Bring the tooth with you. It is best if you have your emergency appointment immediately, but a tooth can sometimes still be saved if it has been an hour or more.