April 11, 2019
Sometimes a toothache is more than a painful annoyance. It’s a message to see your dentist in Scarborough as soon as possible. Here are seven signs that the pain in your tooth needs professional dental care right away.
Sign #1: You Have a Fever or Chills
Most toothaches are caused by a bacterial infection, usually the type of bacteria that brushing and flossing are intended to control. Sometimes these microscopic invaders spread far enough to threaten your overall health, as in the case of an abscess. When this happens, fever or chills are common reactions.
Sign #2: Your Mouth or Face is Swelling
This can signal either a serious infection or a physical injury. In either case, you should seek help right away. In the meantime, applying cold to the affected area may bring short-term relief.
Sign #3: You Have an Earache, Mouth Pain, or Both
Sometimes these are caused by a normal toothache. Other times they may signal something more severe, such as a fractured or dislodged jaw, an infection deep in the bone, or even a tumor. See a dentist or other medical professional as soon as possible.
Sign #4: Your Gums Are Bleeding
Tooth decay is a progressive illness. It typically starts near the chewing surface of the tooth and works its way down to the roots, working cause gum bleeding. Other possible causes of this problem are impact trauma, an open sore or cut, or even oral cancer. All of these are serious conditions that require urgent care.
Sign #5: Pain in Other Parts of Your Body
Sometimes the cause of a toothache has little to do with the teeth themselves. It may stem from a problem in another part of the body that radiates to the mouth. This is why you should seek immediate medical help if your toothache is accompanied by discomfort or tightness in your chest, neck, or face.
Sign #6: You’re Having Trouble Chewing or Swallowing
This is another sign that your toothache has reached an advanced stage. It can be caused by infection, allergic reaction, or a swelling inside your mouth or throat. It may impair your ability to breathe when left untreated.
Sign #7: A Skin Rash
This is another sign that cavity-causing bacteria may have spread into other parts of your body. Bringing the infection under control might require antibiotics.
What to Do during a Dental Emergency
An emergency is by definition a stressful event. Nonetheless, it’s important at such times to stay as calm and collected as possible. Here are three steps to take during a dental crisis:
- Take a deep, calming breath. This will help you to gather your wits.
- Minimize any discomfort. Taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen is a good idea. Never take any prescription medicine without express medical approval.
- Make a note of any unusual symptoms. Your care provider will need this information in order to arrive at an accurate diagnosis.
Knowing what to do when the unexpected occurs can make a world of difference. Use the tips in this post as your guide during a dental emergency. You’ll soon be on your way to happier, healthier days.
About the Author
Dr. Samantha Amaro is distinguished both by her outstanding academic background and the personal passion she brings to the practice of dentistry. She’s a member of both the Ontario Dental Association and the Royal College of Dental Surgeons. You can reach her office online or by calling 1-416-285-4545.
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