Is Your Toothache an Emergency?

How do you know if your toothache is a dental emergency? If you just recently suffered trauma to your face or mouth, then it likely is. Otherwise, a sensitive tooth might not seem like a dire situation, but if left ignored, it can quickly become one. Discomfort is your body’s way of telling you something’s wrong, and in the case of your teeth, that something will only grow worse the longer it’s allowed to progress. If your tooth hurts to any degree, it should be considered an emergency, and you should seek professional treatment as soon as possible.

Why Teeth Hurt

Since eating is a vital habit, you could say that your teeth are among the most important parts of your body. Normally, they’re protected from sensitivity by a thin, but highly resilient, layer of enamel, while they’re roots are covered by tightly sealed gum tissue. Underneath a tooth’s layers of protection are its nerves and blood vessels (pulp), and when enamel is weak, or gums recede, or a tooth is cracked, the pulp can be exposed and become sensitive.

Proper Steps in a Dental Emergency

If you suffer a dental emergency, like a chipped, cracked, or broken tooth, then take immediate action to prevent further dental damage, or possible tooth loss.

  • Rinse your mouth with warm water, especially around the tooth in question. If possible, collect any pieces that have chipped or broken off the tooth, and rinse them as well.
  • If your tooth is completely knocked out, collect the tooth by its crown (top), taking care not to handle the roots. Rinse the tooth carefully, but don’t scrub or wipe away any loose ligaments. If the tooth doesn’t fit back in its socket, then place it in a small container of milk and bring it with you to your emergency dental visit.
  • If swelling occurs, place an ice pack or cold compress to the side of your face. An over-the-counter pain reliever, like Aspirin, can help with the discomfort until you reach our office.

About Your Southlake Dentists:

As a native Texan, Dr. Gregory Wright opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.