Depending on the underlying cause, a severe toothache can be a sign of a dental emergency—meaning you should get to the dentist as soon as possible. At Manhasset Dental Arts, our dentists Dr. Elizabeth Abrams, Dr. Michael Abrams, and our dental team offer general and emergency dentistry services at our office in Manhasset, New York.
Several situations can cause a toothache, from trauma to gum disease or tooth decay. Here’s how to tell if your toothache could be a dental emergency, and if so, what type of treatment you may need.
When is a toothache a sign of a dental emergency?
A severe toothache can be a sign of a dental emergency. In general, you shouldn’t ignore tooth pain that lasts more than a few days, or if you also have additional symptoms like bleeding or signs of an infection.
Here are some signs that your toothache may require emergency dental treatment:
- Severe and persistent pain that is not adequately relieved by over-the-counter pain medication
- Presence of other symptoms, such as fever, swelling, or difficulty breathing
- Visible damage to your tooth, like a crack or chip, or a visible cavity
- Dental problems like gum disease or frequent infections
- Pain that interferes with daily activities, like eating or sleeping
Tooth decay is one of the most common causes of moderate to severe toothaches, but there are several dental issues that can be categorized as dental emergencies and require immediate treatment.
A dental abscess or sore, and a broken, cracked, or knocked out tooth can also be dental emergencies that require immediate treatment.
If you’re not sure whether you’re experiencing a dental emergency, contact us as soon as possible to determine if you need an appointment.
Types of emergency dental treatment
The type of treatment you’ll need depends on the severity and underlying cause of your toothache and other symptoms. If you have a large cavity, you may need a filling or dental crown depending on the size of the cavity and extent of damage.
Cracked, broken, and knocked out teeth may be fixed with a crown, veneers, or a dental implant if the tooth can’t be saved. The sooner you get treatment, the higher the likelihood of saving your tooth and preventing permanent damage.
If you have an infection, you may also need medication or root canal therapy.
While accidents and dental emergencies are sometimes unavoidable and can’t be predicted, practicing good oral hygiene, getting regular dental exams and cleanings, maintaining a healthy diet, and protecting your teeth during contact sports can help to protect your teeth and gums from infections and trauma.
If you have any questions or experience any symptoms of a dental emergency, contact us right away to schedule an appointment at our office in Manhasset, New York.