How do you know if something is a dental emergency? My boyfriend has had trouble eating. I asked him about it and he said his wisdom teeth are acting up again. I peeked at it. It looks like one of them is only partly out and is very swollen. He swears it is fine and always goes away after a while. But, I’m worried. What should I tell him?
I’m sorry your boyfriend is in pain. It sounds like he may have an impacted wisdom tooth. If it is partially in and partially out, there’s likely a little flap where things, like food and other bacteria can get trapped.
There’s likely something trapped there now which is why he’s in pain. These type of things can turn into an infection quickly. If he’s having trouble eating, it’s likely an infection now. This is a dental emergency.
Dental infections aren’t like other infections where you can take an antibiotic and that’s that. While an antibiotic can slow down the infection, a dentist has to go in and physically remove any infected pulp.
Should Impacted Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?
It’s not always necessary to remove impacted wisdom teeth. However, his are a consistent problem for him. It’s much safer to have them removed when he is in his late teens to early twenties. Beyond that the surgery gets riskier.
Most dentist will do wisdom tooth extractions without him having to see a separate oral surgeon. They’ll just use dental sedation. However, he will be loopy and will need someone to drive him to and from the appointment as well as stay with him until he’s lucid again.
If he doesn’t currently have a dentist, he’ll need to call around to find a dentist who treats non-established patients in cases of emergencies. You can often find them doing an internet search for an “Emergency Dentist“.
Just be sure to check their reviews to make sure people have had good experiences with them.
This blog is brought to you by Huntsville Dentist Dr. Steve Murphree.