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When To See a Dentist for Tooth Pain
Dealing with tooth pain can be quite frustrating regardless of how minor or severe it is. Even when the discomfort is mild or infrequent, it can interfere with concentration and enjoyment of activities.
Toothaches are the way your body lets you know there is something wrong in your mouth. It typically leads to a handful of symptoms such as:
- Dull or persistent pain coming from the mouth
- Swelling around the affected area
- A strange taste in the mouth
Evaluating tooth pain
The severity of a toothache determines how quickly a person needs to see a dentist. Mild tooth pain that does not last more than a day is usually not classified as a dental emergency. Patients can set up a regular appointment with their dentist to deal with it, or they can simply wait for one of their biannual appointments with a dentist. It is important to note that even the mildest toothaches still need to be addressed by a dentist to prevent the issue from morphing into something more serious. Here are some common tooth pain causes and indications when an immediate dental appointment is needed:
As was mentioned earlier, a mild toothache does not usually require an emergency trip to the dentist. Over-the-counter pain medications or the application of a cold compress to the area can often alleviate the discomfort until a regular dental appointment. However, not all toothaches are equal, and some do require immediate treatment. For example, a tooth with a compromised pulp chamber can lead to excruciating pain that makes it impossible for the person to sleep at night or focus on tasks during the day. The amount of pain and discomfort are what usually determines how quickly the patient needs to see a dentist.
2. Tooth sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity can be caused by a variety of things such as exposed teeth roots or a loose dental restoration. Gum disease or excessive tooth brushing can sometimes cause exposed roots. Tooth sensitivity does not typically require urgent dental care since it can be managed by avoiding hot or cold foods and using tooth desensitizing products. However, the patient still needs to set up an appointment with a dentist so that the cause of the tooth sensitivity is fixed.
3. Bleeding or swollen gums
Bleeding or swollen gums can be a sign of gingivitis. It can also be caused by an infection or an abscess. In rare cases, swollen gums are caused by plaque accumulation on teeth. Some of the plaque seeps beneath the gums, irritating the soft tissues there and leading to inflammation.
A visit to the dentist is needed to pinpoint the cause of the irritation and to treat it. This is particularly important if gum disease is at the root of the issue since the early stages can be reversed. Quick treatment is needed to take advantage of this window of opportunity.
Getting help for tooth pain
Seeing a professional dental practitioner as soon as possible can help narrow down the cause of tooth pain. After examining and diagnosing the problem, the dentist can come up with an appropriate solution.
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