When Does Tooth Pain Require Emergency Care?

17 July 2023
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


Toothaches should always be taken seriously since they are usually a sign of a structural problem with a tooth or an infection. Sometimes tooth pain is a temporary feeling you can overcome with pain medicine until a dental visit is possible. However, there are occasions where it is persistent and tied to more serious issues that make seeking care from an emergency dentist a good idea. 

First assessments

When a toothache starts, immediately consider what is happening now and what occurred in the past few minutes. Was there a hard bite into a piece of food? Did you feel an odd sensation at or in a tooth in the past several days? Is there any swelling or redness in the gums around the tooth? Where is the pain level on a scale of 1 to 10? Reviewing all of these points and considering the full situation can help determine how severe the cause of tooth pain is and what type of treatment is necessary. The higher the pain, the more important is to find a solution immediately.

Considering care

During regular business hours for your dentist, always make them your first call before attempting any self-care. Most dentists incorporate flex space into the day or have cancellations that make it possible to accommodate a walk-in. An impromptu appointment can lead to fast relief, and even a phone call with a short evaluation can soothe nerves about the scope of a problem.

After hours, always double-check for swelling or redness to see if an infection has developed in the gums around the tooth. Infections always need to be treated as soon as possible. If there are no signs of infection, but the pain is severe, an emergency dentist can quickly assess a tooth and fix a cavity, perform a standard extraction, or prescribe more powerful pain medication until a larger procedure, such as a root canal or surgical extraction, can be completed. If there are signs of an infection, an emergency dentist can prescribe the antibiotics necessary to combat it and get the mouth in shape for further treatment. 

Emergency treatment

Not all dental emergencies are due to more common dental ailments occurring at odd hours or on the weekend. Trauma to the teeth and gums from a fall or other impact can lead to painful chipped or broken teeth that are also a hazard to the gums and surrounding teeth. 

If there are no additional injuries requiring a hospital visit, consider emergency dental care to start the repair process for teeth that can be saved or to set up an extraction for a permanently damaged one. An emergency dentist is also able to ensure the area of impact is cleaned and prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection from the event. Should emergency dental care not be available in your area, opt for an urgent care visit to fight infection until the dentist is open.

Contact an emergency dentist for more information.