Thursday, June 27, 2013

Dental Pain and Emergencies: What You Need to Know

One out of every four people experiences a dental emergency at some point in their lives. Whether it's pain that keeps you up at night or a tooth knocked out while playing sports, dental emergencies require prompt treatment by a dentist. But when is a dental emergency a true emergency, and when does it necessitate simply the next available appointment with your dentist? Here are some ways to distinguish between true emergencies and simple situations that require a consultation with your dentist.

When Is It a Dental Emergency?

There are some times when it's obvious you need an emergency dentist appointment. A hockey player receiving a blow to the face and experiencing jaw pain should go straight to the emergency room. A spill from a bicycle that knocks a tooth out requires immediate treatment by a dentist in order to try to save the tooth. Anytime a tooth is cracked, broken, or knocked completely out of the socket, it's a true emergency and you need to see the dentist right away.
Here are some common reasons for an emergency dental visit. Each is indeed an emergency and requires prompt treatment:

  • Knocked out tooth
  • Fractured tooth
  • Toothache, especially a toothache that worsens when you lay down at night or over time
  • Abscess or dental infection
  • Broken denture or partial
  • Loose tooth
  • Wisdom teeth pain
  • Lost crown or cap
  • Lost filling
  • Dry socket

Anytime dental pain is accompanied by fever or swelling, contact your dentist immediately. These are signs of a dental infection. Dental infections are serious infections that can spread to other parts of your body. You will need to see your dentist immediately.

Pain Is Your Body's First Warning System

Pain is your body's way of telling you that something is wrong. Think of it like your body's first warning system. Your teeth are no different. Anytime you feel pain in your teeth or jaw, it's time to make an appointment with your dentist. Only a dentist can distinguish among the many possible causes of tooth or jaw pain, diagnose the problem, and offer treatment options to get you out of pain, fast.

Pain Relief Until You Can Get to the Dentist

If you have a toothache, there a few steps you can take for pain relief until you can see the dentist. Try taking an over the counter non-steroid anti-inflammatory pain relief medication as allowed by your doctor. Don't take aspirin, which can exacerbate bleeding. Remember, this is just to keep the pain at bay until your dental appointment. Pain relief medication masks pain but doesn't treat the source of it. Your dentist needs to evaluate and treat the source of the problem so that you get permanent pain relief.

A warm salt water rinse made from one teaspoon of table salt mixed into one cup of warm salt water and swished gently around the mouth can ease the pain from an infection or a cavity. Another simple technique is to use an ice pack or cold compress applied to your cheek on the area that hurts. Use it for only 20 minutes, and then remove it and let the area warm up for 20 minutes.

Afraid of the Dentist? Sedation Dentistry May Help

Many people delay making an appointment with the dentist even when they're in pain because they suffer from dental phobias or fears. If you're afraid of going to the dentist to the extent that you'd rather suffer from dental pain than make an appointment, you're probably one of the millions of people suffering from dental phobia. Consider finding a sedation dentist to help you get the treatment you need. During sedation dentistry, IV sedation is used to keep you sleepy and comfortable while the dentist completes your treatment. It's smart to find a sedation dentist who works with a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA). A CRNA monitors your sedation levels and vital signs during the treatment so that the dentist can focus on completing your dental treatment. The dentist's attention isn't divided between dentistry and monitoring your vital signs; he can focus solely on your treatment.

Whether you have a serious emergency such as a cracked tooth or dental infection or are experiencing temporary dental pain, be sure to make an appointment with your dentist. Only by correcting the cause of the problem can your dentist relieve dental pain and contribute to your overall good health.

Shamblott Family Dentistry, 33 Tenth Avenue South, Suite 250 in Hopkins, 952-935-5599,, is run by Hopkins dentist Dr. Scott Shamblott and offers a wide variety of dental treatments including sedation dentistry with a certified registered nurse anesthetist. Emergency dental appointments are welcome. Please call ahead to make sure we can fit you into the schedule today. We welcome patients who suffer from dental phobias and fears, and offer a calm, no-fear, no-shame atmosphere for your treatment. Visit for more information or to download our free eBooks, No Fear Dentistry and Exploring Sedation Dentistry and Other Options.
Article Source:,_D.D.S.

Article Source:

No comments:

Post a Comment