What is an emergency toothache?
Toothache pain can range from minor discomfort to extreme pain. In fact, toothache pain has been described by many as the worse type of pain a person can experience. Keep in mind, tooth pain very 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.
Since measuring pain is subjective to the individual, there is no wrong situation where a toothache may require an emergency dental visit. When in doubt, just call us. We will help.
Hospital Vs. Dental Clinics For A Dental Emergency
The hospital should only be considered in times of dental emergencies that cross over to medical emergencies, or when no other option is available. If you are experiencing swelling in your neck, and you are having difficulties swallowing or breathing, you should strongly consider going to the hospital. All of our 7 locations are well equipped and staffed to handle most dental emergencies.
If you are unsure and would like more information, please do not hesitate to call us.
Are All Toothaches Considered An Emergency?
All toothaches should be taken seriously as the cause of the toothache may be indicative of a much bigger problem. If the toothache is severe enough, then it is almost definitely an emergency situation. For example, a toothache can be caused by a dental infection. This infection can turn into a dental abscess which can lead to more serious consequences.
If emergency care is sought sooner rather than later, a more serious infection/abscess could be prevented.
DIY Toothache Pain Relief
Here are some temporary DIY options:
- Warm saltwater – 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 feel 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.
Call Smiles Dental Group immediately at (587) 410-5766 if you have any of these symptoms along with a toothache:
- Sudden and severe tooth pain
- Foul-tasting discharge
- Sudden facial swelling
- Trouble breathing or swallowing
Common Causes Of Toothaches That Require Emergency Care
Here are a few causes for a toothache:
- Tooth decay – This can lead to small holes called cavities. The decay may continue to spread until it gets close to, or comes in contact with the pulp tissue of the tooth. The toothache symptoms will then worsen significantly.
- Chipped, broken or fractured teeth – Whether by accident, sports injury or other trauma, teeth may be damaged such that the pulp tissue inside the tooth becomes inflamed (swollen). This will lead to significant pain or hypersensitivity to cold or touch.
- Knocked-Out Teeth (Avulsion) – Dental avulsion typically occurs as a consequence of accidental trauma. If the entire tooth including the unfractured root is ‘knocked out’, the best thing to do is to place the tooth back in the socket as soon as possible. The longer the tooth is out of its socket, the less likely replantation will successfully occur. Call us as soon as possible to schedule an appointment with a dentist, who may splint the tooth to stabilize and hopefully save it.
- Infected teeth – An infection of the tooth can lead to a more severe dental abscess. If a tooth is infected, it needs to be treated as soon as possible, as the tooth may be saved if it is acted upon early enough.
How can you prevent toothaches?
Maintaining proper oral health can definitely reduce the chances of experiencing toothaches these tactics include:
- Brushing in the morning and at night, as well as once during the day (if possible).
- Flossing every time you brush your teeth (even if it doesn’t feel like you need to).
- Decrease your sugary food and drink intake.
- Regular dental checkups.
- Wearing protective gear when playing physical sports.
Frequently Asked Questions - 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.
There can be a number of reasons you may be experiencing a toothache. We can’t give you a fee estimate unless we know what your specific situation is. However, all of our dental fees are below the Alberta Dental Fee Guide.
The dentist may recommend follow-up appointments depending on the specific situation you are experiencing.
If your toothache is severe enough that it might be an emergency, do not put off calling us.