There are a few things that are unquestionably dental emergencies, like a knocked out tooth or anything that’s bleeding in your mouth without stopping. But for other things, like a toothache, there can be more of a gray area. You will need to treat tooth pain either way, but how much time you have to act depends on a few things. Keep reading to get a better idea of if your toothache is a dental emergency or not!
What Causes Toothaches?
A toothache is persistent pain that may occur in any one of your teeth (or even several teeth at once). It can take a variety of forms, like a sharp, shooting pain upon contact with certain items – or as a dull ache that never seems to subside.
There are a number of things that can cause a toothache, including:
- An injury to the area, like a blow to the face
- Tooth decay resulting from insufficient dental hygiene
- Arthritis in the jaw
- Nighttime teeth grinding and clenching (aka bruxism)
- An impacted wisdom tooth
- Infected tooth root
How Severe Is the Pain?
No matter what is causing the pain, you need to seek treatment from your dentist. The question is how long you can wait. If the discomfort is severe – like it wakes you up at night or is preventing you from going about your normal activities – you may need to head to the emergency room right away. A severe tooth infection can cause problems with your overall well being, and, in the most extreme cases, can result in death.
If what you are experiencing is more of a dull ache or minor discomfort that comes and goes, you have enough time to call your dentist during normal operating hours. They will listen to your symptoms and, based on their expert knowledge, schedule an appointment for you as soon as they judge necessary.
How to Alleviate Discomfort
For a dull, non-emergency toothache, there are a few things you can do to help reduce pain until your dentist’s appointment. Try the following:
- Take an over-the-counter pain reducer, like Tylenol, as directed
- Use a cold pack on the cheek of the affected area to reduce potential swelling
- Rinse your mouth out with warm salt water
The important thing to remember is not to ignore a toothache, no matter how minor you think it is. Dental pain will not get better on its own – and your dentist is there to help you find relief!
Meet the Dentists
Dr. Stanley Lis, Dr. Joshua Bronner, and Dr. Andy Singh are the trusted experts leading Springs Dental. With decades of combined experience, this team provides a full list of treatment options for patients of all ages – including the treatment and prevention of tooth pain. To learn more about their practice or to schedule an appointment, contact them via their website or by phone at (518) 584-2848.