Why Extreme Toothache Is a Dental Emergency
One of the ways dentists measure dental problems is by pain levels. Whether or not this pain warrants a trip to an emergency dentist is generally in your hands, but remember that sharp, lingering pain is a sign that something is very wrong. Your discomfort may intensify, and you're at risk of infection spreading from the tooth and affecting surrounding tissues. But really, how can you tell if tooth pain is likely to subside, or whether you need to be looking for the address of the nearest emergency dentist?
Minor, Occasional Dental Pain
Your teeth and gums have the potential to be affected by a seemingly endless list of problems. For the majority of the time, they do their job without complaint, and minor, occasional dental pain isn't necessarily anything to be concerned about. While this warrants a trip to your dentist, minor discomfort isn't really a dental emergency. You might have the beginnings of an infection, or localised enamel erosion might have made one of your teeth more sensitive. Yes, this needs to be addressed, or an infection might become an abscessed tooth, or enamel erosion might continue and lead to the loss of the tooth—but this is just a matter of scheduling a checkup with your regular dentist.
A Secondary Concern
In cases of extreme tooth pain, you might be unaware of what's causing it. Sometimes the trouble is easily identified. The tooth in question might be broken, or might have experienced significant decay which has gone untreated. Alternatively (or even additionally), the gum tissue around the troublemaking tooth might be inflamed. In many respects, the cause of the problem is a secondary concern. All you need to know is that the problem is causing pain to the point that daily life is disrupted, and you need urgent dental treatment.
An emergency dentist will diagnose and treat the problem. You will also be given pain relief, which will solve your immediate issue. A cavity can quickly be filled, and while the process might sound intensive, a root canal is a relatively straightforward procedure to remove an infected nerve. If your gingival tissue or jaw have similarly become infected, you may require antibiotics. You will likely require further assessment, however, once the immediate dental issue is addressed, your body will be able to heal. This means that your pain will quickly subside, and can be managed with appropriate medication in the meantime.
Remember that severe tooth pain is out of the ordinary, and so you should never wait and see how it turns out. You might be experiencing a severe dental infection, and the speed of your treatment can make a huge difference in just how severe a dental problem can eventually become.