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How to Decide If You Need to Visit Your Dentist for Your Toothache

Are you currently managing a toothache that just doesn’t seem to go away? Are you trying to figure out if it is an issue that deserves further attention or a call to your dentist? Here is how you can determine the cause of your tooth pain and decide if you need to make an emergency dental appointment.

Your teeth are highly advanced and often sensitive parts of your body. They have many nerves, muscles, and layers of tissue that are connected to them. If left uncared for, the sensitive areas of your mouth, such as the dental nerves, may be exposed to bacteria, sensitive temperature, and possible infection. This can often lead to agony in and around your mouth, commonly referred to as a toothache.

While many toothaches are relatively inconsequential issues, some instances of tooth pain can either be a result of, or lead to a more urgent problem. Keep reading to learn more about the type, causes, treatment options, and if you need to see your dentist about your tooth pain.

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When Should I Go to the Dentist With My Tooth Pain?

Just as athletes sometimes feel pain or hurt themselves, even those of us who take the utmost care of our oral health may at some point experience tooth pain. In most cases, the toothache is minor and can be effectively treated at home, or will go away over time. However, just because a toothache usually is nothing serious, that does not mean that they can’t sometimes signal a more severe issue. That is why it is essential that, no matter how seemingly minor it seems to be, to thoroughly vet and understand what is causing your toothache. Only then can you act accordingly if further action is required.


Types of Tooth Pain

While pain may not be a comfortable thing for you, pain can be a very important symptom that there is a problem with your oral health. Depending on the type, location, severity, and times prevalent, the pain that you are feeling can inform your dentist what the root issue is. Here are some common types and sources of tooth pain.

  • Sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Biting and chewing pain
  • Inflamed, red, and painful gums
  • Dull soreness throughout the jaw and lower teeth
  • Acute, individual tooth pain

If the discomfort that you are dealing with is in line with one or more of the symptoms above, you should contact your dentist to have them examine your mouth and determine the cause.

Possible Causes

To decide what might be the cause of your individual pain, we need to divide tooth pain into two separate groups: dental issues and non-dental issues.

Dental Issues

  • Gum Disease
  • Tooth Decay
  • Chipped, cracked, or broken teeth
  • Breakdown of tooth enamel
  • Gingivitis
  • Cavities
  • Loose or damaged fillings, crowns, or bridges

These dental issues are conditions that your dentist can diagnose and treat themselves.

Non-Dental Issues

  • Sore Muscles
  • Sinus Infections
  • Migraines

While still serious problems that require addressing, your NE Calgary dentist is unable to provide effective treatment for these conditions. Please contact your doctor if you believe you are suffering from one of these ailments.


Treatment and Relief

As much as we would like to be able to take care of all dental problems the moment they arise, this isn’t always possible. In the meantime, before your dental appointment, here are some things that you can do at home to relieve some discomfort.

  • Cold compress the painful areas to numb the pain
  • Use ibuprofen medicine (avoid Tylenol and Aspirin as the active ingredient may increase bleeding)
  • Consume room temperature foods
  • Avoid hard, crunchy foods

Once you have made it through the period leading up to your appointment, you will then receive treatment from your dentist. The exact treatment will depend on your specific diagnosis and can vary from replacing damaged teeth, root canal surgery, a deep cleaning, and various other therapy options.

Should You Go To The Dentist?

We love to see all of our patients as much as possible (see your dentist every six months!). However, not all instances of tooth pain indeed require the input of a dentist. You should see a dentist if any of the following applies to you:

  • Constant, unrelenting pain
  • Substantial irregular inflammation anywhere around your mouth
  • Persistent bleeding
  • High fever combined with an ear or headache
  • Upset stomach combined with a toothache
  • Visual deformities such as a cracked tooth or pus

If none of the above applies to you, your tooth pain is likely not an emergency issue and can be resolved at your semi-annual dental checkup. However, if you are still concerned, please call our clinic at 403-248-2066 to speak with one of our dental assistants.

Call Us Today To Learn About One of the Premier Dental Clinics in Calgary

At Marlborough Dental Centre, a dental clinic located in NE Calgary, our team of dentists and dental hygienists are dedicated to providing you with the finest dental care in Calgary. If you want to learn more about how we have become a top dental practice in Calgary, call us at 403-248-2066 or fill in our online contact form to speak with one of our team members today!



Is a toothache considered a dental emergency?

A mild toothache may not immediately signal a dental emergency, but it’s essential not to overlook it. If your toothache is combined with other symptoms or is persistent and worsening, it may signal a dental emergency. It is important to always hope for the optimal but prepare for the worst with any medical issue.

How can I sleep with my toothache?

If you are having trouble sleeping, here are some tips to help you get some rest:

  • Take some ibuprofen
  • Elevate your head
  • Avoid eating possible aggravating foods before bed
  • Thoroughly rinse your mouth with water and mouthwash
  • Ice your painful areas

What do I do in the event of a dental emergency?

If you think you are currently experiencing an emergency with your oral health, you should try to remain calm and immediately call your dentist. Upon calling, inform the staff of your emergency situation, and they will quickly get a dentist who can provide you with expert advice. If you are unable to get a hold of your dentist, visit the emergency room. ER’s typically have dentists on hand who can assist you.

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