What Other Symptoms Indicate Toothache Is an Emergency?
On its own, toothache is no reason to seek emergency dental treatment. However, suffering from a severely aching tooth that you cannot treat with over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol, may mean that a trip to your local emergency dentist is in order. The trouble is that many Australians don't know when they're facing a true dental emergency and when they're not. One of the most clear-cut ways to tell if you should be seeking an emergency appointment is whether or not there are any other symptoms. If you are also suffering from any of the following on top of your sore tooth, then don't delay in seeking treatment.
Rising Pain Levels
Persistent or rising pain is one way to tell that you are in need of emergency help. For example, if you're going through severe pain that doesn't appear to be subsiding, even when you have taken the recommended amount of pain relief, then it probably indicates a sign of a serious dental issue. However, if the pain worsens because you have accidentally bitten down with a tooth that's already painful, then there may be a good reason for the rising level of pain, so exercise a common sense approach before deciding whether it is an emergency or not.
Swelling or Redness
Another symptom to watch out for is swelling in the mouth which might indicate your toothache stems from a localised infection. Such infections can be caused by an abscess, which you may feel with your tongue as a bump on your gum. Alternatively, redness or general swelling that can be detected either inside your mouth or from your face, typically on the cheek, may also mean you have an infection. This could result in serious health complications if it is left untreated so seek dental help without delay.
If there is bleeding or any form of discharge from the area that is hurting, then this can also indicate a dental emergency. Although occasional bleeding from brushing or flossing too hard is relatively common and not a sign of an emergency, more persistent or unexplained bleeding may suggest you have a more serious problem that warrants immediate attention.
If you find that your mouth is more sensitive to hot or cold food and drinks, even in the part of your mouth that is unaffected by the toothache, then this is another sure sign you need to see your dentist sooner rather than later. If you find that the pain lingers for several minutes after the first sensation, then it could be an indication of the nerve being exposed, perhaps by a fractured tooth or from decay. Either way, seek a dental assessment if your toothache is accompanied by increased oral sensitivity.
Reach out to an emergency dental clinic near you to learn more.