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My Tooth Is Killing Me – Do I Need Emergency Dentistry?

It can be difficult to know sometimes when tooth pain needs an immediate trip to the dentist and when you should just wait it out. Here, we discuss when you should seek emergent care for that painful toothache.

We’ve all been there: You have a tooth that’s throbbing, and it’s tough to just ignore it. The question is, what qualifies for an emergency dentistry visit and what can wait for a regularly scheduled appointment?

Emergency dentistry is similar to urgent care but is specifically used to treat your dental needs. And just like with any other medical emergency, the sooner you can get care, the better the prognosis can be.

Shalom Mintz, Dale Rosenbach, and the rest of our expert team at Dental Specialists of New Jersey offer emergency dentistry for all your emergent dental needs. Let’s look at when a toothache necessitates an emergency visit with us.

What causes toothaches?

There can be a lot of factors that are contributing to that painful toothache. It’s usually triggered by inflammation of the central part of your tooth – called pulp. This pulp is full of nerve endings that are incredibly sensitive to pain.

Common root causes of toothaches include:

  • Cavities
  • Gum disease
  • Trauma
  • Infection
  • Tooth abscess
  • Damaged fillings

You could also have pain from continuously clenching or grinding your teeth, which wears the surface of them down.

What are common symptoms associated with toothaches?

While pain is the top symptom of a toothache, that pain can vary. The pain can be sharp or dull, and it can be constant or it can come and go when pressure is applied to the affected tooth.

These are some other symptoms that often come along with toothaches to be on the lookout for:

  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Bad breath
  • Fever
  • Swollen gums

All of these can be signs of a serious dental problem that require professional dental attention.

When you should be seen for a toothache

A toothache can sometimes just be caused by mild gum inflammation that will go away on its own after a few days. However, it’s usually better to be safe and be seen for a toothache before the condition worsens.

You should always call for an emergency visit if:

  • Your pain isn’t relieved by over-the-counter pain medications
  • You have a fever
  • Your tooth is damaged
  • Pain is coming from your wisdom teeth
  • You have pain in your jaw

All of these symptoms can point to either an infection or an underlying health problem that needs to be seen by a professional as soon as possible.

The bottom line

If you’re in doubt about whether or not your toothache requires an emergent trip to the dentist, it’s always best to go in and have it checked out before it worsens and leads to complications.

For emergency dentistry care, you can call one of our Dental Specialists of New Jersey office locations in Verona and Westfield, New Jersey, today.