What should you do? The obvious answer is to call a dentist!
Your tooth hurts. It's sensitive to hot or cold. It is throbbing. You can't chew because it hurts.
Injuries to the mouth may include teeth that are knocked out, forced out of position or broken. Sometimes lips, gums or cheeks have cuts. Oral injuries are often painful, and should be treated by a dentist as soon as possible.
Some of the questions the dentist will ask you if you have a toothache are:
- How long has it hurt?
- Is it sensitive to hot or cold?
- Is it a sharp or dull pain?
- How much does it hurt?
- Have you been taking anything for the pain?
The dentist or the dental staff will ask you those questions as a way to determine what type of emergency treatment will be required and how quickly you need to be seen in the office.
When you arrive at the dentist's office, he or she will do an oral examination to determine which tooth is bothering you and the source of the pain. The dentist may also need to take x-rays to help in the diagnosis. Treatment can then begin to alleviate the pain and address the problem. Some of the main reasons for a toothache include: decay, periodontal (gum) disease or physical trauma, such as being hit in the mouth with a baseball or hockey stick.
Common complaints associated with toothaches include that the tooth is sensitive to hot or cold liquid or foods or to sweets; there is often a throbbing pain; and sometimes there is what is called referred pain. "Referred pain" means you might have a pain in your ear or in the lower jaw, but it's really caused by a tooth.
It used to be that if you had a toothache, the tooth probably would be extracted. Today, dentists focus now on preserving the tooth. In most cases, pain can be resolved without removing the tooth. Dentistry is making great progress in helping people keep their teeth for a lifetime.
The following are some types of oral injuries and what can be done: