Toothache is always a sign that you should see a dentist soon, but how do you know whether the problem is urgent enough to warrant a visit to an emergency dental service? If any of the following situations apply to you, then you should regard your toothache as a dental emergency. In other situations, it is reasonable to wait a little longer for a regular dental checkup.
Is Your Tooth Broken or Knocked Out?
If one of your teeth has been broken or even knocked out in an accident, then it is important to see a dentist right away. Dentists can often save teeth that have been knocked out, as long as you protect the tooth by putting it in clean water or milk and bringing it to the dentist as soon as possible. If a tooth has broken, the dentist can either reattach the broken parts or make a crown for you to protect the living parts of the tooth.
Do You Have a Fever?
Fever is a sign of infection when it comes along with a toothache. Oral infections can spread to other parts of the body and put your health at serious risk, so it is important to get them treated as soon as possible. An emergency dental service can prescribe antibiotics to get the infection under control. They may also carry out dental work to deal with the cause of the toothache or may refer you back to your regular dentist so you can get this work done once the infection is gone.
Is There Pus in Your Mouth?
Pus — a clear or yellowish fluid that tastes bad — is another indication of infection. If there is pus coming from any part of your mouth, you should call an emergency dental service right away, as it is likely that you need antibiotics to control the infection.
Are You Having Trouble Swallowing?
Toothache is often associated with swelling in the gums or soft tissues around the affected tooth. If a lot of swelling occurs near the back of the mouth, it can make eating and even drinking very difficult. If you are struggling to swallow soft foods or liquids, then you should seek immediate dental care.
Does the Pain Interfere With Daily Life?
A mild toothache can be controlled with ordinary pain medications, such as paracetamol. However, if the pain is so severe that you cannot find relief and is interfering with your ability to eat, sleep, and work normally, then you should treat it as an emergency.