Island Dental blog

Does Every Toothache Constitute a Dental Emergency?

April 13, 2023

Most people suffer toothaches at some point in their lives and may need emergency dentistry in Marco Island, but since discomfort is subjective, it can be challenging to determine when your toothache requires an emergency dental visit. Let’s see how to identify them.

patient with toothache needs emergency dentistry in Marco Island

Can Every Toothache Be Considered a Dental Emergency?

Not every toothache constitutes a dental emergency. While some toothaches may go away on their own, others may require immediate dental attention. It's important to know the signs and symptoms of a dental emergency to determine whether the toothache is serious and requires prompt attention.  

Recognizing the symptoms of a dental emergency can prevent further complications and ensure that appropriate treatment is received in a timely manner.  

When Is Not a Dental Emergency  

Not all toothaches require immediate emergency dental care. Some toothaches may be mild and can be managed with self-care at home. For example, if you have tooth sensitivity to hot or cold foods or drinks, it may not necessarily be an emergency.  

Similarly, mild discomfort or pain that is alleviated by over-the-counter pain medications may not require immediate attention. However, if you have a toothache that persists for more than a day or two, it is still recommended to schedule a dental appointment to determine the underlying cause of the pain

When to Seek Immediate Dental Attention for a Toothache

Pain That Does Not Subside With Over-the-counter Pain Relievers

If you are experiencing severe pain that is not relieved by over-the-counter pain relievers, it may be a sign of a dental emergency. The pain may be sharp, throbbing, or constant.

Swelling In the Mouth or Face

Swelling in the mouth or face can be a sign of a dental abscess, which is a severe infection that affects the root of a tooth. The swelling may be accompanied by pain, fever, and difficulty swallowing or breathing.

Fever or Chills

This may indicate that the infection has spread beyond the tooth and into the surrounding tissues. This is a serious medical emergency that requires immediate attention.

Difficulty Breathing or Swallowing

If you are experiencing difficulty breathing or swallowing, you should go to an emergency dentist right away. This may be a sign that the infection has spread to the airways, which can be life-threatening.

Bleeding or Pus Coming from the Affected Tooth or Gum

This may be a sign of a dental abscess. Seek immediate dental attention to prevent the infection from spreading.

What If You Don’t Take Care of the Emergency Immediately?

If you don't take care of a dental emergency toothache immediately, the condition may worsen and lead to more severe complications. For example, a toothache caused by a severe infection or abscess can spread to the surrounding tissues and jawbone, causing swelling, fever, and difficulty breathing or swallowing.  

In some cases, the infection can even spread to other parts of the body, leading to potentially life-threatening conditions such as sepsis. Additionally, delaying treatment for a toothache can lead to further damage to the affected tooth, which may require more invasive and costly procedures in the future.

expert of emergency dentistry in Marco Island checks patient's toothache

Need Emergency Dentistry in Marco Island?

A toothache should never be ignored. Even if the pain is tolerable and there is no obvious damage, you should have any tooth pain examined by a dentist. If you have a severe toothache, don't try to endure the discomfort; instead, come to Island Paradise Dental and we'll take care of you.

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