I’m wondering if my brother needs to see an emergency dentist. It’s just the two of us since our parents died. I didn’t have any problems with my wisdom teeth but his seem to be bothering him. In fact, he hasn’t eaten his last two meals. He thinks they just need time to finish popping through, but I’m worried because he can’t eat.

Darla M.

Dear Darla,

Anytime someone is in such pain that they can’t eat it means they need to see an emergency dentist. With wisdom teeth the pain can be from them being impacted or even infected. If some of his gum is flapped as the teeth are coming through, it could open just enough for food and other bacteria to creep in and get trapped. This will lead to an infection and would explain the pain he’s in.

Encourage him to see an emergency dentist. What you don’t want is for him to put this off and the infection spread. Believe it or not, dental infections can quickly become life-threatening.

The problem may not even be from his wisdom teeth. Sometimes our body refers pain, meaning it actually originates from somewhere else. Either way, the faster it’s dealt with, the easier it will be to treat. A simple filling or root canal treatment is much better than losing a tooth and having to find a way to replace it.

An emergency visit is much cheaper than dental implant surgery.

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