May 11, 2024


by Dr. Michel Azer

Few pains can stop you in your tracks the way a toothache can. You may be just living your life until you take a sip of cold water, leaving you absolutely reeling in pain. Taking an over-the-counter pain killer or rinsing your mouth with saltwater can bring relief to your tooth pain. But understanding the underlying causes and knowing when to seek professional help is crucial so that you are not left in unmanageable pain as well as with permanent damage due to an unattended toothache. But is a toothache considered a dental emergency? The answer is it depends on the cause and severity of the pain.

Causes of pain

Tooth pain can vary significantly. A dull throb to a consistent sharp stabbing pain can often give you a clue as to what is causing the toothache in the first place. Knowing the cause of pain can also help you identify whether or not your toothache is a dental emergency.

  • For a cavity
  • Sharp pain with hot or cold liquids
  • Pain when you bite down
  • Spontaneous pain
  • General tooth sensitivity
  • Pain with hot and cold liquids
  • Receding gums
  • Abscess or infection
  • Sharp or throbbing pain
  • Radiating pain to the jaw and neck
  • Cracked tooth
  • Pain from biting or chewing especially on the release
  • Sinus infection
  • Throbbing or sharp pain
  • Affecting one or more teeth at a time

Signs of emergency

Toothaches can occur even at times that are not convenient for you and they don’t always happen during regular dental office hours. But some signs of a dental emergency when it comes to toothaches should never be ignored or delayed. Signs of emergency include:

  • Bleeding gums that won’t stop
  • A damaged adult, permanent tooth
  • Severe or increasing pain that affects eating and sleep

Don’t wait to call

If you simply can not determine the cause of your toothache or have increased stress trying to decide if it is, in fact, an emergency, remember, you can always call and ask a friendly dental office for advice. They will be prepared to ask you a few questions that will help you determine if you should seek emergency dental care for your toothache.

Regardless if it is an emergency or not, promptly making an appointment with a dentist is still very important. Tooth pain does not simply go away even if the pain is intermittent. Any tooth pain can be a warning of a more serious dental issue and it is always a good idea to have your teeth and gums assessed by a professional.

If you are living in Coralville, IA and have a toothache that you worry could be a dental emergency, do not hesitate to call Coral West Dental! Dr. Rubel and his friendly staff have been serving the Coralville community for decades and even offer emergency extended and weekend hours to help you when you need it most.

About Michel Azer, D.D.S.

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Read Dr. Azer’s Full Bio

Our Office Is Located At:

2575 Coral Court
Coralville, IA 52241

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Monday: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Tuesday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday: 7:00 am - 4:00 pm
Friday: Closed
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed
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