When to Schedule an Emergency Appointment for Tooth Pain
Some dental emergencies occur suddenly, such as a broken or knocked-out tooth. Other times, issues develop gradually over time. If you are experiencing dental discomfort, you may need to schedule an emergency appointment for tooth pain. At our Kansas City, MO, practice, Dr. John Goodman can assess your situation and alleviate your pain so you can enjoy life again.
What Causes Tooth Pain?
There are many reasons why your teeth might hurt. Decay is the most common catalyst. If smaller cavities are not addressed early on, bacteria can continue to erode the enamel, making the teeth more vulnerable to damage. Other causes of tooth pain include:
- Dental abscesses: If the pulp of a tooth dies, the dead tissue can lead to infection.
- Fractures: When a tooth is cracked or broken, bacteria, food, and other debris can irritate the nerves inside the tooth, triggering pain.
- Gum disease: If the teeth are not cleaned properly or often enough, plaque accumulation can irritate the gums. If left untreated, this condition – called gingivitis – may progress into advanced gum disease, which can be painful.
- Broken restorations: A leaky filling or broken crown can compromise the tooth structure, allowing bacteria to seep in. This can cause pain and discomfort.
- Bruxism: Chronic teeth grinding or clenching can place excessive pressure on teeth and cause pain.
What to Expect at an Emergency Dental Appointment
When you first arrive to your appointment, Dr. Goodman will perform a comprehensive exam and take x-rays of the affected teeth. These x-rays will allow him to determine the extent of damage and develop an appropriate treatment plan. He may also prescribe antibiotics or pain medication to alleviate any infection and discomfort.
The recommended treatment will depend on the severity of the situation. In some cases, patients may need a filling or crown. In more severe instances, root canal treatment or an extraction may be necessary. Dr. Goodman will discuss your treatment options with you in detail so you can make an informed decision.
Why Immediate Attention is Important
If you develop tooth pain, it is imperative that you have the issue addressed right away. Even small dental problems can progress quickly without proper treatment. Many patients put off going to the dentist. But being proactive can save you time, worry, and money in the long run.
Preventing Tooth Pain
While it is impossible to prevent emergencies from occurring, there are a few things you can do to reduce the risk:
- Brush at least twice a day. If possible, brush after every meal. This will help minimize plaque, tartar, and cavity-causing bacteria.
- Floss daily. Cleaning between the teeth is essential for optimal oral health. This prevents harmful microbes from accumulating in these areas.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash. When used in conjunction with brushing and flossing, antibacterial rinses can further reduce the risk of decay and gingivitis.
- Visit your dentist regularly. Many individuals do well with six-month visits. If you are prone to decay or gum disease, you may benefit from more frequent appointments.
Schedule an Emergency Dental Visit
If you are having dental discomfort, schedule an emergency appointment for tooth pain at our Kansas City, MO practice. Call us at (816) 842-8585 or contact us online anytime.