The word “emergency” may conjure images of flashing ambulance lights and blood. But toothaches can be very serious too, and at name of practice we’ve treated a lot of them.
Of course, there are garden-variety toothaches that can be treated at home with over-the-counter pain relievers and a dental appointment when it’s convenient. But there are toothaches that bring on intense pain, and in some cases can even become life-threatening.
- Sharp persistent pain? A toothache may not respond to the pain relievers in your medicine chest. When there is no decrease in the pain it could be a sign of an abscessed tooth. We should see you right away.
- Extreme sensitivity? If there is a lot of pain when you bite or chew, or even touch the tooth, it could be a sign of a serious problem. There could be a severe cavity, or a filling that has come loose or fallen out.
- Strange taste? You may notice a bad taste in your mouth, or a bad odor, that lingers after a breath mint or even brushing. This may indicate an infection or severe decay, and should not be ignored.
- Swollen jaw? When there is swelling in the jaw area, and even the neck, it may be due to an infection that is beginning to spread from a bad tooth to other parts of the body. This has the potential to become lethal, if infection reaches the brain. Do not take any chances.