dental emergencies do not always involve pain, although this is a common signal that something needs to be looked at. pain can originate from the tooth, surrounding tissues or can have the sensation of originating in the teeth but be caused by an independent source.
there are many causes of toothache, some more serious than others. as a rule the advice we give is as follows:
first, thoroughly rinse your mouth with warm water.
use dental floss to remove any lodged food.
if your mouth is swollen, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek.
never put aspirin or any other painkiller against the gums near the aching tooth because it may burn the gum tissue.
to alleviate the pain take whatever you would normally take for a headache.
contact us as soon as you can.
dental abscess/facial swelling
abscesses are infections that occur around the root of a tooth or in the space between the teeth and gums. abscesses are a serious condition that can damage tissue and surrounding teeth, with the infection possibly spreading to other parts of the body if left untreated.
because of the serious oral health and general health problems that can result from an abscess, see a dentist as soon as possible. in the meantime, to ease the pain and draw the pus toward the surface, try rinsing your mouth with a mild salt water solution (1/2 teaspoon of table salt in 8 ounces of water) several times a day.
broken, lost fillings and crowns or veneers
as a temporary measure, stick a piece of sugarless gum into the cavity (sugar-filled gum will cause pain) or use an over-the-counter dental cement. contact us as soon as possible.
cracked tooth syndrome
cracked tooth syndrome occurs when a tooth has a crack that’s too small to show up on x-rays, or is under the gum and challenging to identify. it appears most often on molars. most people experience cracked tooth syndrome as pain or discomfort when biting into food, or when teeth are exposed to hot or cold temperatures. the pain or discomfort won’t be constant, as with a cavity.
many people with cracked tooth syndrome have symptoms for months because it’s one of the most difficult dental problems to diagnose. a complete oral examination, dental history, radiographs and the use of a fiber optic hand piece can assist in the detection of cracks. people with a history of a cracked tooth are more likely to have others, either at the same time or in the future.