When To Call Your Dentist About a Toothache

Experiencing a toothache can greatly affect your daily life and leave you feeling uncomfortable and in need of relief. Whether it’s a brief sensation or a persistent pain, your mouth is trying to communicate that there could be an issue that requires an emergency dental appointment. At Sloan Creek Dental, your trusted Fairview dentist, we will discuss the signs and symptoms of a toothache that indicate the need for professional dental care. Additionally, we will suggest some effective home remedies that can help alleviate the pain while you wait for your dental appointment.

When to See Your Dentist for Tooth Pain Relief

Toothaches can be excruciating. If you find yourself experiencing one in the late hours, it’s common for people to manage the symptoms until they can schedule a dental appointment. However, it is essential to be aware of warning signs that indicate a dental emergency so that you can take immediate action.

  • Persistent Pain: If your toothache lasts longer than 48 hours, it’s a sign to see your dentist.
  • Sudden and Severe Pain: Intense tooth pain, especially if it comes on suddenly, requires immediate dental attention.
  • Dental Pain While Biting Down: Any discomfort or pain when biting down on food or during regular activities should prompt a dental visit.
  • Tooth Sensitivity: If tooth sensitivity persists or worsens, it’s advisable to consult your dentist.
  • Tooth Trauama: If you have a chipped tooth, broken tooth, or completely knocked-out tooth.
  • Pain Triggered by Hot or Cold Foods: If hot or cold foods consistently trigger your toothache, it’s time for a dental evaluation.
  • Any Unusual Symptoms: Unusual symptoms like swelling, sharp pain, discharge, or fever associated with severe tooth pain should be addressed promptly.
  • History of Dental Issues: If you have a history of dental problems or recent dental work and experience new pain, contact your dentist.

Home Remedies To Try First

When experiencing tooth pain, there are home remedies you can try before seeking professional dental care. Here are a few to consider:

  • Rinse with Warm Saltwater: Mix half a teaspoon of salt into eight ounces of warm water and use it as a mouthwash. Gargling with warm saltwater can help reduce inflammation and ease pain.
  • Clove Oil: Soak a cotton ball in clove oil and place it near the affected tooth. Clove oil has natural numbing properties and can provide temporary relief from dental pain.
  • Cold Compress: Applying a cold compress like an ice pack to the outside of your cheek can help reduce swelling and numb the area, relieving some of the pain.
  • Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers: Non-prescription pain relief like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can provide temporary relief. Ensure you follow the recommended dosage.
  • Avoid Triggers: If hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods trigger your pain, avoid them until you receive professional dental care.
  • Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: Gentle brushing and flossing can help remove any trapped debris around the affected tooth, which might be contributing to the pain.

Please keep in mind that the remedies provided here are only meant to provide temporary relief and should not be considered as a substitute for seeing a dentist for proper diagnosis and treatment. It is important to understand that dental issues can worsen if not addressed in a timely manner. Therefore, if your toothache persists or worsens, it is highly recommended that you contact your dentist immediately for an evaluation and appropriate care.

Your Toothache May Be A Warning

If you experience a toothache that persists for more than a couple of days, it’s a sign that you need to pay attention to. Although sinus issues or sudden changes in elevation can sometimes cause brief sensitivity, prolonged pain lasting more than 48 hours is a serious issue. Consider it as a warning signal from your mouth to take action.

Lingering discomfort in your teeth could be a sign of an underlying problem, such as a tooth fracture, or could be caused by poor dental hygiene and unhealthy eating habits. If you consume sugary foods frequently and neglect to brush and floss regularly, plaque can accumulate on your teeth and cause damage. Over time, this buildup can lead to cavities, which can spread deep into your tooth and affect the sensitive inner pulp where the nerve is located. When this happens, you may experience a dental infection, which is a clear indication that you may need a root canal treatment. To avoid such complications, it’s essential to visit your dentist as soon as possible.

Dental Emergency for Sudden or Severe Toothaches

Sudden or severe toothaches are surprisingly commonplace, yet many underestimate their potential seriousness. Often, these disruptive toothaches can be a sign of an underlying issue, such as a deep cavity, cracked or damaged teeth, tooth infection, or an abscess forming at the tooth’s root. Urgent dental care is critical in such situations as it can help manage pain, save the tooth, and prevent further complications.

Neglecting to address a sudden severe toothache could pave the way for infections to spread, leading to more complex dental abscesses and even tooth loss. In the worst of cases, unchecked dental infections could spread to other parts of the body, posing a more systemic health risk. If experiencing any of these, it’s important to seek assistance from a qualified dental professional, to accurately diagnose and promptly address the issue.

Pain When Biting Down

Experiencing pain while biting down is a clear indication of an underlying dental problem that requires immediate attention. This discomfort is often caused by issues such as a cracked tooth, a loose filling, or an abscess. Ignoring this pain is not recommended, as dental problems usually get worse over time.

It’s important not to ignore any dental pain as it could worsen and lead to more serious conditions. Addressing dental issues promptly is crucial as it reduces the chances of requiring extensive dental treatments in the future. By taking care of these dental concerns early, you can avoid the problem from becoming a significant cause for concern.

Tooth Sensitivity Needs Timely Attention

Tooth sensitivity, a common dental concern, can range from mild twinges to severe discomfort when encountering hot or cold foods, sweets, or even chilly air. This issue often stems from exposed dentin, which is the sensitive layer beneath your tooth’s enamel.

While occasional sensitivity might not be a cause for alarm, persistent or worsening discomfort should prompt a call to your dentist. Ignoring sensitive teeth can lead to more severe problems, such as cavities or gum disease.

A dentist can assess the cause of your sensitivity and recommend treatments like desensitizing toothpaste, dental sealants, or fillings if needed. 

Dangers of Decay and Infection: Why Prompt Action is Vital

Taking care of your oral hygiene is more than just about having a beautiful smile; it’s about protecting yourself from serious health risks. Tooth decay and dental infections can cause more than just discomfort. They can lead to severe dangers like abscesses, gum disease, and tooth loss. These issues are often caused by harmful bacteria that can cause complications beyond your mouth. For instance, untreated dental infections can escalate to form a dental abscess, which can result in tooth loss if not treated promptly.

A proactive approach to oral hygiene like regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups helps prevent these issues effectively. Don’t let dental problems escalate to more significant complications. Contact your dentist as soon as you experience a toothache to avoid the dangers of decay and infection from taking hold.


In dentistry, the treatment for your toothache will depend on the cause of the pain. Your dentist may take X-rays to better see what is happening, recommend a filling if it’s a cavity, or a root canal treatment if the nerve of the tooth is infected. In more severe cases of tooth decay, you might need a tooth extraction. During your examination, your dentist will suggest the best course of action to alleviate your pain.

Yes, the condition can worsen if you delay dental care. Neglecting a toothache can lead to a spread of decay, resulting in more severe pain, an abscess, or even loss of the affected tooth.

Start with the basics: maintain a diligent oral hygiene routine. Regular brushing and flossing can prevent many toothaches caused by cavities and gum disease.

Diet plays a vital role, too. Limit sugary and acidic foods and beverages, which can erode tooth enamel. Consider a mouthguard if you grind your teeth during sleep to prevent painful complications.

However, even with the best care, toothaches can still occur. This is where regular dental check-ups become essential. Your dentist can spot potential issues early and recommend appropriate interventions to keep tooth pain at bay.

By combining good dental habits with professional guidance, you can significantly reduce the risk of toothaches and enjoy a pain-free smile.

Experiencing Dental Pain? Call your Dentist Today for an Emergency Appointment

If you’re suffering from tooth pain, it’s crucial not to delay treatment until your next scheduled dental checkup. Tooth pain may signal an underlying issue that requires prompt attention. If you’re in the Fairview Allen area, and need to see an emergency dentist, call us at our Fairview, TX dental office to schedule your appointment at 972-468-1440. We’re here to help as we can provide effective treatment and proper care.