Is your toothache worth calling the dentist for?

Toothaches are no fun. It is incredible how much pain and discomfort can come from something as small as a tooth. When you have a toothache, the pain can seriously distract you, often keeping you from accomplishing your tasks at hand. Not only that, but a it can also keep you from getting a good night’s sleep. If you don’t address the pain quickly, it can soon become a runaway train, zapping all of your productivity and keeping you from your beauty rest.

Getting treatment for your toothache is more important than you might realize. The usual cause is tooth decay, dental abscesses, a cracked or damaged tooth, a loose or broken filling, problems with your braces, or an infection. No matter the cause, it is crucial to understand what you should do if a toothache happens to you and when to see your family dentist or an emergency dentist.

When should you see an emergency dentist for your toothache?

Though toothaches are, well, painful, it doesn’t always mean that a trip to an emergency dentist is required. But it is crucial to understand what to do in a tooth emergency. However, if you are experiencing any of the following, we suggest you report these concerns to your family dentist right away.

  • If you are in severe pain: If you are experiencing severe pain and bleeding, this is a sign of an emergency.
  • If you are an adult who has lost a tooth: With quick action, it might be possible to save your lost tooth.
  • If you are an adult with loose teeth, even without pain, you should contact your dentist right away.
  • If you have an infection in your mouth, even if you don’t know if it is related to your toothache: An abscess can be life-threatening if not treated properly and in a timely manner.
  • If you have a high fever in combination with your toothache: A fever of 100.5 degrees or higher is considered a high fever.

If you have a toothache, you should never hesitate to reach out to your dentist to see if you should be seen quickly. Severe toothaches can be signs of serious trouble, and it is always best to be safe than sorry.

When a Toothache Is Not a Dental Emergency

Even though we said you should never hesitate to reach out to your dentist if you have a toothache, it may help to understand when toothaches are not considered a dental emergency. Occasionally, there are dental problems that seem serious but can wait for a few days (such as over the weekend) until your Reading, MA, dentist’s office reopens.

If you do not have a fever and are not experiencing symptoms of an abscess, like swelling in your face or bumps on your gums, you can wait to see your dentist. And, if you have lost a crown or filling from your mouth, it is generally considered safe to wait a few days to be seen. If you still have the crown and didn’t swallow it or lose it, you can try putting it back into place with a denture adhesive or over-the-counter dental cement until you can get to the dentist in a few days.

Over-the-Counter Comfort Measures for Your Toothache

If you determine that your toothache can wait a few days for treatment, it doesn’t mean you need to suffer while you wait. There are over-the-counter (OTC) comfort options available to you. Ibuprofen is often the most effective for lessening dental pain and discomfort. However, before taking ibuprofen, you must know that it is considered a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drug. This means it’s similar to aspirin and naproxen and can thin your blood.

You should check with your family physician about whether or not NSAIDs are safe for you to use. In some cases, it may be better for you to take acetaminophen instead of ibuprofen. Acetaminophen may be best if you are on a prescription blood thinner, if you are at risk for gastrointestinal problems, such as heartburn or stomach bleeding, if you are taking a diuretic, or if you have high blood pressure, cirrhosis of the liver, or kidney disease.

How to Prevent a Toothache

Once you have had a toothache, chances are you won’t want to experience that kind of pain again. Thankfully, with proper oral hygiene and regular visits to your family dentist, you can seriously reduce your chances of a recurrence. Take the following steps to prevent future toothaches.

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Brushing in the morning and before bed is most recommended.
  2. Floss your teeth at least once per day and especially if you feel that food particles might be stuck between your teeth.
  3. See your dentist twice a year for professional tooth cleanings and an oral assessment.
  4. Limit your consumption of high-sugar foods.
  5. At your next dental appointment, ask your dentist about sealants and fluoride applications.

Schedule an appointment with First Dental Associates to treat your toothache.

If you can wait to be seen, be sure to request an appointment online with the First Dental Associates team in Reading, MA. Once we identify the source of your toothache, we can determine the appropriate dental treatment. Whether you require dental implants or dental bridges or need a filling or root canal, we can get to the cause of your toothache, make you comfortable, and provide the proper treatment to prevent a recurrence.