A natural response to tooth pain is to head to the pharmacy for a pain reliever. If the pain goes away, then forget about it, right? Not so fast. It’s okay to forget some things in life, but others require investigating. Is a toothache a dental emergency? Keep reading as your dentist in Fort Lauderdale discusses the matter.

What Causes Tooth Pain?

The human body has a complex network of neurons and cells, better known as the nervous system, that constantly transmits information. It tells your muscles to move and relays messages to your brain that serve as warnings. Triggering a pain response is one way to warn you. Usually, pain arises to let you know there is a problem requiring your attention.

How to Respond to a Toothache

There are levels of tooth pain, which tends to cause some people to disregard it unless the pain is severe. It’s an indication something is wrong, so the worst thing you can do is ignore it.

To be safe, call your dentist and provide as many details as possible about the toothache. They will likely schedule an appointment for you as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can manage your tooth pain by:

  • Flossing around the area carefully to ensure you don’t have a food particle trapped between your teeth.

  • Rinsing your mouth out with salt water to minimize the risk of bacterial infection.

  • Taking a pain reliever as directed on the label. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are usually the best options for toothaches.

  • Holding a cold compress to your cheek for 10 minutes at a time. This can address swelling, as well as pain.

What’s Problematic About Disregarding a Toothache?

Tooth pain is usually the result of infection or decay in the sensitive inner layers of a tooth. Unlike most other parts of the body, teeth cannot heal themselves when infected or damaged. Because of that, your toothache won’t go away if you ignore it.

Delaying treatment might cause the infection to spread to your surrounding teeth, gums, or jaw. If the infection reaches your bloodstream, it could trigger systemic illness.

A toothache isn’t always a dental emergency, but it’s a situation of better safe than sorry because of the potential consequences of an untreated infection. You should visit your emergency dentist as soon as you can after a toothache strikes since they can offer pain relief and make sure you won’t face long-term issues.

About the Practice

At Seaside Family Dentistry, we strive to create a dental patient experience that is enjoyable for the whole family. We have early morning and late-night appointments for your convenience. When you need high-quality care at an affordable price, think Seaside. If you ever need an emergency dentist for tooth pain or another reason, we offer same-day appointments, dental insurance is welcome, and flexible financing is available. Schedule an appointment on our website, but if it’s an emergency, call (954) 908-6780.