Dr. Keith Bram, DDS

Is My Toothache Considered a Dental Emergency?

Sep 01, 2023
Is My Toothache Considered a Dental Emergency?
Does your throbbing tooth need immediate attention, or can you wait and see if it gets better on its own? Here, we walk you through a checklist for knowing when you should consider your toothache a dental emergency.

Toothaches — they sting or throb, and they may even make it tough to think straight. But is it just a temporary discomfort, or have you developed a serious oral problem that requires emergency dental care?

Every year, 40% of adults experience some sort of tooth pain, and unfortunately, most just don’t know what to do about it. That’s where Doc Bram comes in. 

Your oral health shouldn’t be a question mark, so Dr. Keith Bram and our team are here to equip you with a few guideposts that warn you when your teeth and gums need prompt treatment. Here’s what you should know about toothaches that require emergency attention. 

Where your toothache likely came from

Toothaches can crop up anytime and can happen to anyone, but there are a few common causes everyone should be aware of. Your tooth likely hurts because:

  • You have an advanced cavity and don’t know it
  • Your tooth is infected
  • You’ve been hit in the mouth or sustained some type of oral trauma
  • You grind and clench your teeth 

No matter where your toothache came from, chances are you won’t get away with not visiting our office for treatment, especially if it checks the boxes for an emergency.

When your toothache is an emergency

It’s easy to recognize a knocked out, dislodged, chipped, or cracked tooth as a dental emergency, but it’s not as simple when it comes to a toothache that stems from a seemingly hidden source.   

So, remember this rule of thumb: If your tooth has been hurting consistently for more than two days or it’s causing you extreme discomfort, consider it a dental emergency.  

Because severe tooth pain usually indicates an underlying infection or oral health problem, every moment matters. Leaving your teeth to fend for themselves is a recipe for serious oral health problems — you could even lose your tooth altogether. 

See a dental emergency expert

Dental emergencies require fast and accurate care, so you need someone used to working under pressure. Dr. Bram and our team have years of experience handling patients who need emergency care, and we work quickly to save your tooth whenever possible. 

We offer a wide range of general and emergency dental services to address your immediate needs and restore your smile once you’re out of the woods.  

For example, a severely infected or decayed tooth usually needs an immediate root canal and a dental crown to seal it. In the most extreme cases, we may need to extract your tooth, and we can discuss your options for tooth replacement, including dental implants.  

What you need to do for a severe toothache

We don’t recommend trying to solve a dental emergency on your own, but that doesn’t mean you can't do anything. Following these steps may significantly improve the success of your treatment:  

  • Call and make an appointment as soon as possible
  • Maintain proper dental hygiene
  • Follow all care instructions
  • Avoid anything that exacerbates your tooth pain
  • Use ice packs or cold compresses to relieve pain

Above all else, resist the temptation to perform bathroom dental work on yourself. If you’re not careful, you could cause more damage and even spread an infection to other parts of your mouth and body. 

Dental emergencies never happen when it’s convenient, so we make sure we’re available in those most crucial moments. If you need emergency dental care, don’t hesitate to contact Doc Bram. Call our office in Lisle, Illinois, at 630-963-9280 and let us know about your urgent needs.