Our Purley dentists recommend emergency dental care if you are in pain.
If there is one thing that will encourage even the most nervous dental patient to see a dentist, it is when severe toothache strikes. If you have ever had this happen to you, even many years ago, you will understand what we mean. Perhaps due to the proximity to our brain, a really bad toothache can be all consuming, preventing us from sleeping, working and generally functioning as we normally would.
A child who is in extreme pain with a toothache is likely to be inconsolable too, and this can also be distressing for the parents. Whether it is yourself, or another member of the family who is suffering, you should always make an immediate dental appointment to see one of our Purley dentists as soon as you possibly can.
What can cause a severe toothache?
The most well known cause for a painful tooth is tooth decay. This isn’t always excruciatingly painful though and can equally consist of a relatively mild throbbing sensation in the tooth. This can usually be eased through the use of painkillers. This can sometimes result in the patient believing the discomfort to be ‘manageable’ though, and, especially if they are dental phobic, may cause them to delay seeing a dentist. The fact is that if you are experiencing any discomfort, it is almost certain that something is wrong and will need treatment. Delaying the inevitable will only mean that you are storing up more significant pain for some point in the not very distant future.
When a toothache is really bad, it can’t be ignored in this way. By all means, you can take a painkiller to reduce the intensity of the pain, but do make sure to make your appointment too. This should be your priority.
Another possible cause for a toothache on this level is either a root canal infection or even an abscess within the root canals. Both of these will need treating and are also likely to be very painful due to the nerves of the teeth being contained in these canals. Impacted wisdom teeth can create similar problems. If the wisdom tooth has not erupted properly, it can attract bacteria that are difficult to remove when brushing. Where this is the case, it will most likely need to be removed.
There are other possible causes for a toothache that are not created by problems with the teeth and one of these is a sinus infection. This occurs most frequently in the upper rear teeth that are situated close to the sinus cavity. If there is an infection, or inflammation in this area, your teeth are likely to ache. Even if you suspect this may be the cause though, please see the dentist at the Confidental Clinic for a check up before seeing your GP.
Treating your toothache
The most important thing that you can do is that you make an appointment to see us as soon as you can. The earlier that you can call us during clinic opening hours, the more likely it is that we will be able to see you the same day. If you are in severe pain, please do let our receptionists know and they will do their best to prioritise your appointment where possible. They may also be able to offer advice on remaining comfortable until your appointment time.
The actual treatment provided will depend on the exact nature of the problem. As a guideline, these are the most common treatments.
Tooth decay – Treating a decaying tooth will depend on the extent of the problem; one of the reasons why you should see a dentist regularly. In the best case scenario, regular check ups will mean that it can be treated with a filling. These can now even be completed using a natural tooth coloured filling which renders the repair almost invisible. More severe decay may well mean that more of the tooth needs to be removed, and a restoration, such as a dental crown, would be needed to restore the tooth to a functional level. Where the decay has advanced beyond a certain stage, there may be little option left but to remove the affected tooth.
Root canal infection – Where an abscess is present, this will have to be treated before any restorative work can be carried out and may involve a short course of antibiotics. Once this has been done, the next step is to perform root canal therapy. This involves removing the top section of the tooth, cleaning out and filling the infected canals and finally, restoring the tooth by adding a dental crown. Although extracting the tooth is also an option, it is usually better to retain the natural tooth wherever possible.
Impacted wisdom teeth – If a wisdom tooth has become impacted or not erupted properly, it will almost certainly need to be removed. X-rays will be taken to determine the best way to do this. In some cases, it may need to be surgically removed, using a general anaesthetic in hospital. This is not always the case though.
It is always preferable to avoid problems like these, supported with good care of your teeth and including regular examinations at the Confidental Clinic. When problems do arise, you should always call our dental practice for an appointment as soon as you can as having a painful tooth is no fun! Make sure that it is short lived by calling our Purley dental clinic on 020 8660 8923.