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Tooth is infected and causing lot of pain. Should I go to ER?

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Practicing since : 2008
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I have a tooth that is infected and is causing me a lot of pain. I do not have insurance and I am a single mother. I cant afford to go to the dentist until next week and if I go to the ER for antibiotic and pain med, the XXXXXXX will be outrageous. I was just wondering what I could do?
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Posted Fri, 8 Nov 2013 in Dental Health
Answered by Dr. Anjana Rao Kavoor 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Please find detailed answer below

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for writing in to us.

I have read through your query in detail.

Tooth infections are known to cause a lot of pain and discomfort. It is important to know if you are suffering from a tooth abscess. An abscessed tooth is a painful infection at the root of a tooth or between the gum and a tooth. It's most commonly caused by severe tooth decay. Other causes of tooth abscess are trauma to the tooth, such as when it is broken or chipped, and gingivitis or gum disease. This can be confirmed only after dental examination and should be treated immediately.

Following are alarming signs:
A toothache that is severe and continuous and results in gnawing or throbbing pain or sharp or shooting pain are common symptoms of an abscessed tooth. Other symptoms may include:

Pain when chewing
Sensitivity of the teeth to hot or cold
Bitter taste in the mouth
Foul smell to the breath
Swollen neck glands
General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling
Redness and swelling of the gums
Swollen area of the upper or lower jaw
An open, draining sore on the side of the gum

If you think you have an abscess, call your dentist. If you cannot reach a dentist, go to a hospital's ER for an evaluation, especially if you feel sick.

If an infection becomes so painful that it cannot be managed by nonprescription medicines, see your dentist for an assessment.
If you develop fever, chills, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea as a result of a dental abscess, see your dentist or doctor.
If you have intolerable pain, difficulty breathing or swallowing, any of the symptoms of a dental abscess when you dentist's surgery is closed, seek other medical advice.

Antibiotics are prescribed to help fight the infection. To relieve the pain and discomfort associated with an abscessed tooth, warm salt-water rinses and over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin) can be used.

I hope this helps.
Do write back in case of doubts.

Dr.A.Rao Kavoor
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