If you’re in the middle of your day and you suddenly have to deal with blinding tooth pain, you’re not going to be able to think clearly about what to do. That’s why it’s important to have a plan ready to help you deal with dental injuries. While most people know when they should go to the emergency room to address an urgent problem, fewer people think plan on seeking out emergency dental care in the case of an infection, broken tooth, or abscess. Since mouth pain can arise from several different sources, it helps to know exactly what kind of trouble you’re dealing with before heading out to the ER. However, if you’re in pain, the most important thing to do is seek out help wherever you can find it, whether it means going to the hospital down the road or having a friend or partner drive you to an emergency dental clinic. No matter what, the most important thing to do is stay calm, stay focused, and remember that everything’s going to be okay. If you find yourself in the middle of a dental emergency, here are a few things to remember.
Figure Out What’s Wrong
When you’re in searing pain, it’s hard to focus on the actual problem. Because of this, a helpful way to keep your mind off the pain, as well as plan out your next steps, is to try to figure out exactly what’s going on. While some problems, such as a loose filling or a toothache, might seem fairly obvious, some can point to a dangerous, serious condition that shouldn’t be ignored. For instance, if you’re dealing with gum or jaw pain, you could be dealing with a tooth or gum abscess that should be professionally drained right away. If the pain of a toothache has gotten too intense, you could be grinding your teeth too hard or you could be experiencing a more serious problem. Either way, you shouldn’t ignore it. If you’ve let a problem get to the point of blinding pain, it’s time to visit the emergency room. In some situations, your mouth might seem to be the root of the problem even when it isn’t. For instance, if you’re dealing with any swelling around your mouth or face that isn’t the natural result of a dental procedure, you should go to your local emergency room as soon as you can to deal with the infection.
Don’t Ignore Something Just Because You Can
Even if you know exactly what the problem is, that’s no reason not to deal with it as soon as you can. Chances are if you’ve let it get to this point, it’s way overdue for a checkup to begin. While many tooth problems don’t qualify as a life-threatening emergency, that’s no reason not to take them seriously. For instance, if you wake up in the middle of the night with crushing tooth or jaw pain, there’s no reason to avoid treatment. It’s one thing if you simply can’t find an emergency dentist in your area and have to wait until morning to schedule an appointment. But if you simply feel like you can afford to deal with the pain for a few more nights, you’re probably not just going to end up dealing with tooth pain. Whatever’s causing the problem is going to gradually get worse when it might have been avoided by sticking to your regularly-scheduled cleaning. Whatever you do, don’t ignore the pain just because you feel like you’re too busy to go get the proper care.
Seek Out an Emergency Dentist
In many places around the country, you can find an on-call dentist who is around 24 hours to help with problems just like this. Whether you’ve broken a tooth, are dealing with an abscess, or have injured your teeth in a fall or accident, you can find someone who will tend to your problems immediately. However, if you’re in an area that doesn’t have a nearby emergency dentist, you should go to the emergency room and have the problem checked by a doctor. Even doctors who don’t specialize in dental problems can usually identify an issue quickly and give you helpful advice about treatment and how to proceed.
Call a Friend
Most importantly, if you’re in pain, you don’t have to go through it alone. If you know something is wrong, have a friend or partner drive you to the emergency room or to a 24-hour dental clinic. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Getting on the road while dealing with intense tooth pain can end up causing accidents and damaging your health even further. Don’t be afraid to reach out, even if you feel it’s inconvenient.