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What are the Most Common Dental Emergencies?

Experiencing severe toothaches can be one of the most harrowing experiences someone can go through. If you've faced it before, you'll know what it exactly means. It might have started with a slight tingling sensation in your tooth or gums that comes and goes, so you probably paid it no attention.


Then it comes back again with longer durations more frequently. By this time, you should have already set an appointment with your dentist, but the voice at the back of your mind wrongly reassured you that it's not that bad, it might go away on its own, and that appointment can wait.



Suddenly, you wake up one morning, or worse, in the middle of the night with an inflamed jaw and a stabbing pain that throbs in sync with every heartbeat. The pain is so disabling that you couldn't even hear yourself think, and you're willing to do anything for any kind of immediate relief while Googling "emergency dentist near me" on your phone. At this point, you can only look back and wish that you'd gone and set that appointment much earlier.


In this article, we'll be going over the most common dental emergency situations, why toothaches hurt so bad, what you can do to cope while waiting for your appointment and how to prevent them from occurring in the first place.


What Situations Call for Emergency Dental Care?

More than others, some cases will need to be addressed more promptly because of being a cause of debilitating pain or a potentially life-threatening situation. While people will have a range of pain tolerance, here are some situations and signs to look out for to help you decide whether you need emergency dental care.


  • Uncontrollable Bleeding

  • Swelling from a Possible Infection that Can Restrict Breathing

  • Facial Trauma that Could Obstruct Airways

  • Post-Operative Osteitis (Dry Socket)

  • Trauma Resulting in a Dislocated or Knocked Out Tooth

  • Broken Tooth Accompanied by Pain

  • Broken Temporary Fillings

  • It Hurts to Chew

  • Swollen Mouth or Jaw

  • Soft Tissue Trauma

  • Broken or Missing Dental Appliances

  • Inflammation or Abscess from Infection Causing Severe Pain

Why Do Toothaches Hurt So Bad?

Our dental pulp, the soft tissue inside the tooth, is filled with blood vessels and highly sensitive nerves. Irritation, tooth decay or bacterial infection can trigger severe pain and discomfort like nothing else we can experience in other parts of our bodies. Generally, our heads, where our teeth are, are richly served with abundant neural connections to our brains' pain centres. This evolutionary accomplishment serves its purpose by painfully reminding us that an infection in this part of our bodies requires more immediate attention than other parts.


When we hurt ourselves anywhere, the brain responds by sending a robust blood supply to the injured area, which triggers inflammation and the healing process. When we stub a toe or hit our shins, we can clearly see the inflammation in the area, either through swelling, tenderness or bruising. But since our teeth's nerves and blood vessels are enclosed in a hard shell, there's not enough wiggle room for the inflammation, making the process hurt more.


Temporary Tooth Pain Relief While Waiting for Your Appointment

While successfully setting up an appointment with a Sutherland dentist brings some form of psychological relief, it's still difficult to ignore oral pain, mainly when it's caused by inflammation from an infection. Here are some tips to help tide you over and hopefully help you sleep through the night:

  • Over-the-Counter NSAIDs

  • Saltwater Gargles

  • Apply a Cold Compress or Hot Pack

  • Acupressure

  • Clove Oil

  • Mouthwash

Emergency Dentist Miranda

While we always recommend getting regular checkups and believe that prevention is better than cure, we at Pinnacle Dental are well-equipped to address various dental emergencies. Depending on our assessment, we can provide the proper treatment for your situation. Our common procedures to manage oral pain include root canal therapy, extraction and periodontal treatments.


Schedule an appointment with us today, so your Sydney Dentist can address your pain or discomfort the soonest. Alternatively, you can give us a call at 02 9526 1458 today and let us help you restore your oral health.

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