How to Tell If Oral Pain Is a Dental Emergency

Oral pain is often a telling sign that something is wrong with your teeth, and that a dentist appointment might be needed. However, when is oral pain not just an annoyance, but a full-blown dental emergency?

This blog post from Priti Naik, DDS can help you understand if your dental pain needs immediate attention.

Is Oral Pain Even an Emergency?

The short answer is that it can be. Oral pain is usually a symptom of something, and the cause of the oral pain can help you determine whether you are experiencing a dental emergency or not.

Some examples of oral emergencies that can cause pain can include:

  • Dental fractures
  • Severe infections
  • Nerve damage (or tooth "death")
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Complications from other procedures, such as bleeding after a dental implant, or throbbing pain after a root canal, etc.

It’s also worth mentioning that pain is subjective, and comes in various forms. For instance, if you have a low tolerance to pain, and your toothache is constant (meaning it doesn’t subside at all), then you should seek emergency dental services just to get relief from the pain. You don’t have to wait and suffer until the next available appointment slot simply because you don’t think your pain is caused by an emergency.

How Can You Manage Pain Until Your Appointment?

If the pain’s not too bad or is triggered by certain factors (such as heat or cold), then you can likely wait a few days to see the dentist. In the meantime, you can try these tips to help manage your discomfort:

  • Avoid the triggers;
  • Don’t chew on the side of the tooth that’s causing pain;
  • Apply a cold compress to your cheek to help with pain and swelling;
  • Take over-the-counter pain medication to alleviate pains.

However, you should continue to pay attention to your symptoms while you wait, especially if you don’t know what’s causing the pain, look out for:

  • Increases in pain intensity
  • Changes in tooth color or gums
  • Spiking fevers
  • Seeing blood around the tooth or in your saliva

If you notice these changes, don’t wait for your initial appointment. Your condition is likely getting worse, and your dentist should inspect the tooth as soon as possible and treat it to hopefully prevent permanent damage or even tooth loss.

Experiencing Tooth Pain? Find Relief at Priti Naik, DDS

Don’t ignore a toothache even if it goes away in a few days. Pain is a telling sign something is going on with your oral health, and ignoring the symptoms can allow the problem to persist and create further damage down the line.

Priti Naik, DDS is here to help you get relief from oral pain and improve your health!

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Priti Naik or call us at (703) 288-1800 to find out more about us and how we can help.

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