No one relishes the thought of a dental emergency, and all too often they happen at the worst possible moment – like cracking a tooth on a popcorn kernel during the movie you’ve been waiting all month to see, or falling over and chipping a tooth as you’re on the way to the airport.
However, cracked, chipping, and lost teeth aren’t the only dental emergencies: something that seems as simple as a toothache could wind up with you in the seat at the emergency dentist.
So what should you do if you find yourself with a severe toothache or swelling in the mouth?
Try to Minimise the Pain
The best thing to do when you’re struck with a toothache is to attempt to minimise the pain you are feeling. If the pain isn’t too severe, you should be able to do this with paracetamol or ibuprofen. If the pain persists, or is too much to handle, try visiting your local pharmacist or doctors to see if they have a more specific and direct way of dealing with your pain until your can visit your dentist. Rinsing your mouth with salt water can also help to temporarily relieve pain.
Remember: pain medication is not the same thing as a treatment. Even if you feel your toothache is getting better after taking medication, you still need to book an appointment with your dentist to make sure that everything is okay.
Try to Reduce the Swelling
If you’re also experiencing swelling with your toothache, you’ll want to try and reduce it as much as possible. Holding a cold compress to the area of your mouth that the swelling has affected is the best way to do this. Swelling could be the result of an abscess, so you should contact your nearest emergency dental facility immediately for an appointment.
What’s the Cause?
There are several possible causes for toothaches and swelling that could be the reason for yours. They could be the cause of a cracked or chipped tooth, a cavity, or a slipped or broken dental crown or filling. Toothaches could also be the result of grinding teeth, sports injuries, sinus infections, or the arrival of wisdom teeth.
Most of these sources mean that you have a bit of time – around a couple of days – before you seriously need to see your dentist. However, if you suspect the swelling in your mouth is an abscess, it is vital to see a dentist as quickly as possible. This is because it could lead to a severe infection in your mouth, and this infection could pass into your bloodstream.
Contact Your Local Dentist
In the case of a dental emergency, it is important to visit a dentist as soon as possible. A local dentist is the best course of action, as you will be able to be seen to quickly and efficiently. For Bellbowrie, Karalee Family Dental is your local emergency dentist. Not only do we stay open after hours, we’re also available on the weekends for any dental emergencies that may arise.