When is Dental Pain an Emergency?

When is Dental Pain an Emergency?

March 1, 2022

What can be minor dental pain for you may be severe for someone else. Therefore, some people will rush to the nearest emergency room only to discover their issue was not an emergency. Others will wait until it is too late before heading to the dentist’s office. Read on to learn when dental pain requires you to rush to an emergency dentist near you.

What Is Dental Pain?

Dental pain is pain that occurs in a tooth or surrounding tissues. It may originate inside the tooth or radiate to the jaw from other areas such as the TMJ or sinus. This pain may be sharp, spontaneous, dull, or continuing, depending on the cause. Dental pain categorizes into:

  • Odontogenic pain

It is a severe, spontaneous, and throbbing pain. It originates from the tooth’s central part, called the dental pulp. The pain occurs when the nerves in the pulp experiences extreme temperatures. As a result, you may feel odontogenic pain on your cheek, temple, or ear.

Although it reduces spontaneously when extremely hot or cold substances leave, you should not ignore it. The pain indicates a more significant problem that may lead to tooth loss.

  • Peri-radicular pain

It is sharp, spontaneous pain that occurs when you bite down on something. The pain may be due to a crack in the tooth that reaches the dental pulp. This crack allows bacteria to enter the dental pulp leading to an infection.

Peri-radicular pain persists for several hours. Abscesses, fever, and inflammation may accompany it. Therefore, an emergency dentist should address this pain immediately. If left untreated, the infection spreads to the surrounding tissues.

What Causes Dental Pain?

Dental pain may result from tooth decay. Decay occurs when oral bacteria combine with sugar and starch from what you consume. As a result, plaque and acids form and cling to the tooth. They erode the tooth enamel creating small holes called cavities. Tooth pain caused by decay starts with sensitivity to sweet, very hot, or cold substances.

When the cavities enlarge, they may lead to tooth roots and expose them to bacterial infections. As a result, dental pain caused by the infected tooth roots is more severe and an emergency dentist must address this. In addition, you may experience dental pain after trauma to the tooth.

Dental trauma causes a crack or fracture, exposing the tooth nerves. In such a case, the pain will be sharp and lead to tooth sensitivity whenever you bite down. Teeth grinding can also wear down the tooth enamel leading to a tooth crack or fracture. These cracks will also allow bacteria to infect the nerves in the dental pulp.

Some people experience dental pain when a wisdom tooth starts to push through the gums. If the tooth cannot erupt or impacts due to inadequate space, it causes even more pain. In addition, you may experience dental pain days after tooth extraction due to dry socket syndrome. Migraines, infected sinuses, or temporomandibular joint disorders are other causes of dental pain.

Symptoms of Dental Pain Requiring Emergency Dental Care

You need to visit the emergency dentist in Danbury, CT, without delay if you notice any of the signs and symptoms below.

  • Sharp and persistent tooth pain increases in severity and is not relieved by over the counter medication.
  • Pain accompanied by bleeding gums that may be swollen signifies periodontal infection.
  • Bad taste or odor in the mouth that lingers even after brushing-this may be due to the release of infection-causing bacteria in the mouth.
  • Trouble when swallowing or breathing due to pain and inflammation
  • Swelling around the jaw and neck areas – contact a dentist immediately since the infection may spread to the brain
  • High fever signifies an infection around the tooth, gums, or jawbone.
  • Pain with signs of an abscess – pus discharge from a whitish, red, clear, or yellow pimple or bulge on the gum

Are you uncertain if you have a dental emergency or not? Contact us at Danbury Smiles- George L. Landress, D.D.S. P.C.. Our team will address your questions or concerns and recommend what action to take. At our dental clinic, we will diagnose the cause of your dental pain then offer innovative solutions for pain relief.

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