Feb 22, 2019

Interview Transcript

Announcer: The Health Minute, produced by University of Utah Health.

Interviewer: You have really bad tooth pain. ER or not? Dr. Troy Madsen is an emergency room physician. Is that a reason to go to the ER?

Dr. Madsen: Well, here we're talking about just your tooth starts to hurt, and it's something we often see in the ER. We're not talking about getting hit in the face or losing a tooth. The challenge in the ER is there's not a whole lot we can do. Typically, we'll prescribe antibiotics. If you have, possibly, a cavity that's causing pain, we can get you some pain medication. My big recommendation, though, is to get in to see your dentist.

If you have other things going on, like a lot of swelling in your face, if you have high fevers, you're feeling confused, certainly if this is from trauma, where you've been hit in the jaw, you've got other symptoms, like chest pain, things that are concerning for a heart attack, these are all reasons to absolutely get in the ER. But if it's just some tooth pain, give your dentist a call, get in there for treatment.

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