Is My Severe Toothache a Dental Emergency?

Is My Severe Toothache a Dental Emergency?

Toothaches are no fun, but are they an urgent condition? In many cases, yes. 

While pain in or surrounding a tooth can stem from a mild and temporary issue, other causes require treatment, both for relief and to reduce your risk of potential complications. And if your pain is severe, you shouldn’t delay treatment.

Our experienced team of dentists at Swinney Dental in Tyler, Texas, takes special care to ensure your emergency dental needs are met as swiftly as possible.

Here’s a closer look at toothaches, including signs it’s time to seek immediate care.

What causes toothaches

Tooth decay is the most common cause of toothaches. The pain begins once bacteria gather in or around a tooth, forming a sticky material called plaque. Acids in the plaque erode the tooth’s enamel, causing a cavity.

A cavity can make way for tooth sensitivity when you consume something hot or cold. And the longer the cavity goes unaddressed, the larger and more painful it becomes.

In addition to cavities and decay, toothaches may stem from:

Your toothache may hurt continually or flare up on occasion.

When to seek emergency care for your toothache

When toothache pain lingers or recurs, it’s time to schedule an exam. If your pain is severe or interfering with your life, seek care immediately.

Signs your toothache may be an emergency include:

Even if one or more of these symptoms seem tolerable, you could be dealing with a medical condition, such as a severe infection, that needs prompt attention.

What to do until you get to our office

If you aren’t able to see our team immediately, you can take steps to reduce your pain. Leading up to your appointment, consider gently rinsing your mouth with warm water. You can also try to remove any lodged food particles with floss.

Applying a cold compress or ice pack to the outside of your cheek near your toothache or taking an over-the-counter pain medication can dull your symptoms. 

To learn more about toothaches or get the treatment you need, call our team at Swinney Dental today. Depending on the cause of your toothache, your treatment might involve a filling, antibiotics for an infection, a root canal, or tooth extraction. 

You can also schedule an appointment using the convenient online booking feature on our website.

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