A while back it was discovered that inflammation in the gums can affect disease in the heart. A tooth infection can be even a more dangerous short-term problem. A tooth infection that spread throughout his body killed one of the Egyptian pharaohs way back when.
So a dental emergency, if ignored, can become life-threatening. But a lot of people put off seeing a dentist until a toothache becomes a much more serious problem. And a chronic problem can lead to coronary disease.
A big part of the problem with people getting dental care here in the United States is the lack of dental insurance. A lot of people who are under insured on their jobs don’t have dental insurance and it’s not covered under Medicare. So many people have to pay for dental care out of their own pocket and these days they just can’t afford it.
A couple-of-years-ago, I had to go to the emergency room of a major hospital here in St. Louis. Barnes is a big urban trauma center and you can expect to wait at least a couple of hours to be seen if you go to the emergency room and don’t need urgent attention.
There was an older African-American lady sitting next to me who was complaining very loudly about her toothache. She said that she had been waiting a couple of hours already and needed it removed immediately. They finally came out, gave her a couple of pain pills, and told her that she would have to see her dentist in the morning. I knew that she was there because she couldn’t afford to see a dentist.
Hopefully, you have dental care available to you. But what do you do if you have a dental emergency and have to wait before you can get in to see a dentist? According to Medical News Today:
“Having to deal with a dental emergency is not something people think about. However, being prepared can make the difference between saving or losing a tooth…and a (dental) infection can be a life-threatening situation.”
So what do you do if you, say, lose a crown?
Losing a crown is not usually painful, but you should see a dentist within a couple of days to get it repaired.
Suffering with a toothache.
If you have a toothache, then using some kind of over-the-counter gel is alright for a day or so, but don’t put any kind of other type of pain medicine against the gum, (like aspirin) as this can irritate and make matters worse than they already have become.
I know a girl who put the gel in her mouth for so long that her gums actually turned crusty and white and she then required a lot more dental care than if she had went to see a dentist right away.
You can try putting a cold pack against the outside of your cheek for 20 minutes. Then let it warm up for another twenty minutes before applying the cold pack again.
The bottom line is that if you have any type of dental emergency, see a dentist as soon as possible. Many of them have emergency hours now.