First step: Identify where it hurts and why.
You see, the problem with toothaches and emergencies is that we need to identify where the problem is coming from. Let’s discuss some of the different symptoms you maybe experiencing and go through delve a little deeper to see what you could do in such a situation.
Broken tooth: Teeth can break for a variety of reasons. One reason could be a hit or fall that breaks the tooth. Other times, extensive decay in the tooth will result in a tooth breaking down. If you see that you have a broken tooth, there are a few immediate steps to take before seeing a dentist. Firstly, try rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater. Saltwater is a hypertonic solution that allows cells around your tooth to release water and reduce swelling. Collectively, this causes the area around your broken tooth not to swell. This will help relieve some of the pain but definitely not all of it. By all means, avoid touching and biting with this broken tooth. Immediately take Tylenol or a comparable pain killer. But most importantly, try to make an appointment as soon as you can. At Glad Dental we specialize in extracting or restoring broken teeth when possible. A possible solution to replace broken teeth would be implants or bridges to fill gaps in your mouth. Here is a link to our implants page to get more information on what can be done to replace a broken tooth . Otherwise, if the tooth can be saved, at Glad Dental we offer crown and bridge restoration that allows you to keep the base of your tooth, but restore it with a crown the same shade as your other teeth so that it looks totally natural.
Toothaches and swelling: Now on to swelling. There are several reasons why you could have swelling and inflammation around your tooth or cheek. Below, we will discuss abscesses by the tip of the tooth but here we are going to talk about simple inflammation. Swelling and inflammation could be because of a bacterial infection. White blood cells rushing to the infected area causes a buildup of pus and water, causing your cheek or gum to get puffy and bloated. This is a situation that develops over time. One day, you feel some discomfort by your tooth but then it goes away, so you forget about it. Then it comes back but goes away again. Finally, it comes back so painful that you notice your gum and cheek swelling and start to feel some serious pain. Another cause could be wisdom tooth irritation. At Glad Dental we deal with this kind of dental emergency most often. Patients wake up in the middle of the night with throbbing pain. What happens is the wisdom tooth is in such a position that it can’t break free out of the gum and the impacted tooth gets infected. An impacted tooth is a tooth that has not broken the surface of the gum and is still covered by the gum. If your mouth or cheek is swollen, you can start by applying cold compress to reduce the inflammation. In this case you can also rinse out with warm saltwater. Mix one teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water and take a mouthful of the liquid. Hold it in your mouth for two minutes and then spit it out. Additionally, make sure to take aspirin to reduce the pain and swelling. The treatment for such a condition is usually an extraction. Call us today to walk in as a dental emergency if this is the case.
Exposed nerve: This is the real painful one. When your tooth decays to a point where your the nerve in the root of your teeth gets exposed, that’s when the pain is the sharpest. In such a case you know you have a dental emergency that only a dentist can fix. The problem is that the nerve, which is normally covered and protected by tooth enamel, is now exposed and vulnerable to contact and can cause real pain. You will feel the pain when sipping water, breathing or even moving around. An interesting hack that may help is to cover the exposed tooth with chewed up gum. (Don't pull used gum off the street that's such a bad idea and not what we meant. Take some new gum, chew it up yourself and then cover your tooth). But definitely give us a call at Glad Dental or book an appointment immediately to take care of that emergency, otherwise it could flare up. See this article by the Cleveland Clinic to get more information on tooth sensitivity and exposed nerves.
Pain from Abscessed Teeth: An abscess is when a pocket of pus develops in the gum at the root of a tooth. In such a situation, treatment must be immediate so that the infection does not spread. When you see a bulge of pus build up around a tooth DO NOT poke at it. Do not play with it. There is an obvious infection that needs to be handled and treated. For such a situation your best bet is to wait until you can see an emergency dentist. The dentists at Glad Dental first take you out of pain and treat the abscess by cleaning the inflammation and infection out. Then the dentist will try to save the tooth with a root canal treatment if it is medically plausible and possible. See our root canal treatment page for more details.
Once you decide on a course of action, don’t hesitate to call us at Glad Dental if you have any more questions. We specialize in treating emergency dental patients who have toothaches, broken teeth or just need routine preventative care. We treat patients from all over Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn. We work with your insurance to make the treatment most affordable for you. After taking you out of pain we all place a huge emphasis on providing a treatment plan that will get you back to smiling and eating in healthier fashion. At Glad Dental we provide a step by step breakdown of a treatment plan that will take you out of pain, address and then restore your teeth so that you can smile and eat confidently.