Emergency Dentist: How Do I Know If My Toothache Is Serious?

Emergency Dentist: How Do I Know If My Toothache Is Serious?

Apr 01, 2023

A toothache typically refers to mild to severe discomfort in or around a tooth. Various factors including tooth infection, dental trauma, gum disease, and jaw disorders can cause pain. You can often manage mild tooth pain or sensitivity with at-home remedies like painkillers and cold compresses. However, some toothaches are severe and might require immediate dental care. Prompt treatment is the only way to reduce discomfort and prevent tooth loss.

Like most dental patients, you might need clarification about whether your toothache requires immediate attention. Knowing when to seek emergency treatment for a toothache can help you get prompt optimal care and prevent unnecessary and long-term complications. In this article, let’s learn about the signs to watch out for to help you determine whether your toothache is severe.

9 Signs your Toothache is Serious

Below are common symptoms indicating that your toothache might be serious and you may need to see an emergency dentist near you right away:

  • Pain from trauma

You may be chewing your favorite nuts or bone meat only to chip or break your tooth. Minor tooth damage might not cause significant pain or symptoms, and you might not even know you’ve chipped your tooth.

However, if the damage is extensive, say the tooth has broken in half, or the root is damaged, you’ll likely experience moderate to severe pain. Emergency care may be necessary to alleviate the pain or to treat the tooth to prevent it from falling out or from further damage. If the tooth has fallen out, seeking emergency care improves your chances of restoring the tooth.

  • Persistent severe and throbbing tooth pain

Sometimes you can experience pain when biting down or eating. The pain can be persistent and highly intense, even when not eating. Visiting a dentist near you can help alleviate the pain and determine the root cause.

  • Pain that doesn’t respond to pain relief remedies

Many people consider taking pain medication like ibuprofen or a cold compress to settle tooth pain. If the pain is severe and unresponsive to pain relief medicines and other relief treatments, it’s time to seek emergency dental care immediately.

  • You’re unable to function normally.

While a tooth is a very small part of your body, severe tooth pain can prevent you from performing even the most basic tasks. You should see your emergency dentist immediately if you can’t stay at school, work, or perform normal activities due to a toothache.

  • Inflamed gums, jaw, neck, and face

A toothache accompanied by swollen gums, jaw, or face indicates that you have a serious oral problem like severe tooth decay, advanced gum disease, or a jaw disorder. Swelling around the neck and jaw often shows that the infection has spread to other parts of the mouth and body. If not treated promptly, the infection can lead to serious and life-threatening health issues like tooth loss, heart attack, and pneumonia. Contact our dentist inCovina for immediate pain relief and treatment.

  • Bad breath or taste in the mouth

If a weird taste or bad breath accompanies a toothache, that’s a clear sign that you have severe tooth decay or advanced gum disease. Either way, immediate dental care is necessary to alleviate the symptoms and address the cause of the problem.

  • Loose tooth

If you have a painful tooth that feels loose, you may have advanced gum disease or tooth decay. Prompt treatment is essential to stop the infection and to reduce your discomfort.

  • Pressure in the tooth

Do you feel like there is pressure building up in your gums? It can indicate that your tooth is infected or a wisdom tooth is impacted. Regardless of the cause, it’s essential to see your dentist to determine the cause and to get relief from the discomfort.

  • Pus around a painful tooth

Pus or a painful cyst around an aching tooth often indicates a severe tooth decay infection. Sometimes dental abscess is accompanied by severe pain, bad taste, and a fever. You should treat the issue promptly to prevent it from spreading to nearby structures and causing further problems.

Schedule an Appointment

Do you have any of the symptoms we’ve discussed above? Contact Jeffrey L. Cohen, DDS, for prompt dental care near you.

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