Toothache

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Emergency Toothache

Toothaches can range from minor to extreme pain. Tooth pain rarely resolves permanently without dental treatment of some kind. A toothache may require emergency help if you are experiencing severe pain, and/or the pain is accompanied by swelling, or pain in other areas of the mouth, face, or neck.

Are all Toothaches an emergency?

Not all toothaches should be considered emergency dental situations. However, if the toothache feels severe, then it should be considered an emergency situation. If the toothache hurts enough that it prevents you from doing a daily activity with out pain, or the pain has been ongoing, these are signs of a possible emergency.

What Caused My Toothache?

Pain is often the first sign of many common dental issues so just having a tooth ache may not be enough information to diagnose what is wrong with the patient. 


A toothache could mean a number of afflictions:


  • Tooth decay – Cavities are common causes for tooth pain.
  • Cracked tooth, broken tooth, chipped tooth – You may have broken through the enamel to the vulnerable areas.
  • Infection – Bacteria may have infected the tooth, or the gums and bone around the tooth.

DIY Toothache Pain Relief

We want to emphasize that these strategies will not fix your tooth pain or tooth sensitivity, however, they may decrease the pain, inflammation, and potential infection until you can see a dentist.
 

Here are some temporary DIY options:


  • Warm Salt Water – This will help cleanse your mouth since salt is an antiseptic that can reduce inflammation.
    •  Add 1 teaspoon of salt to a 8-ounce glass of saltwater, then gargle and rinse thoroughly. 
  • Ice Pack – Nothing too scientific here. Ice numbs the affected area through cold. Press the ice pack against the affected tooth/teeth, until the cold numbs the pain, or as long as it feels comfortable.
  • Elevate Your Head – Keeping your head elevated will keep more blood away from the affected area which may help to alleviate some of the pressure.
  • Hydrogen peroxide rinse – Mix a table spoon of hydrogen peroxide with a glass of water an swish it around your mouth, do not swallow it.
  • Clove Oil – You can find it at health stores and specialty stores, apply a small amount to your tooth.

Frequently asked questions - Emergency Toothaches

These solutions can work as a temporary measure, but generally, a toothache is indicative of a more serious problem. If you have a toothache, please call us to see what your next steps should be.

The dentist may recommend follow-up appointments depending on the specific situation you are experiencing.

If your toothache is severe enough that you think it might be an emergency, call us right away.

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