Are you experiencing tooth pain and wondering if it qualifies as a dental emergency? At Ghina Morad, DMD we provide expert emergency dental care to those who need it. Read on to find out when a toothache is something that can wait for a regular appointment and when it’s considered an emergency.

What Causes Toothaches?

The first thing you should realize is that if you have a toothache, no matter how severe, something is wrong. A healthy tooth should not ache or cause any pain. This could be a sign of damage or an oral health problem. A toothache can have a variety of causes, but these are some of the most common.

Tooth Decay - If you have an untreated cavity, the tooth decay will only worsen and penetrate deeper into the layers of your tooth. Once tooth decay worsens, it can become painful, especially when you’re chewing. The deeper they penetrate through the tooth, the more painful it will be, because you’re getting closer to the tooth’s nerves.

Infection - Once tooth decay reaches the dental pulp, your tooth will be infected. Your tooth’s pulp contains nerve endings, connective tissue, and blood vessels so this can be very painful. Your tooth will likely be very sensitive long after eating cold or hot foods. 

Dental Trauma - If you have sustained an oral injury, this can chip, break, or knock out your tooth which can cause significant pain and swelling. Severe dental trauma can even cause a tooth infection if it damages the dental pulp. 

Bruxism - Grinding your teeth places an excessive amount of force on your teeth and over time, this can cause enamel erosion or even break your teeth. Even if you haven’t chipped or cracked your teeth, this repeated clenching of your jaw and force placed on your teeth can cause aches in your teeth, jaw, and head.

What Makes It An Emergency?

If your tooth pain is severe, persistent, and does not go away for a couple of days, this is a dental emergency. Minor or dull aches are not considered an emergency. Qualifications for emergency include signs of infection, such as swelling, discoloration of the tooth, an abscess around the tooth, tooth sensitivity, and an exposed root.

If your tooth hurts because you have an oral injury and there is significant damage or uncontrolled bleeding, this also qualifies as an emergency. If your tooth has been knocked out, chipped, or loose, this is an emergency. 

To determine if you should book an emergency appointment, ask yourself if the problem requires immediate treatment and if you are in severe discomfort. Prompt treatment is important for dental emergencies because it prevents serious issues from worsening.

Get Same-Day & After Hours Emergency Care

If you have impacted wisdom teeth with severe pain, an infection, or severe dental trauma, these need to be addressed right away to prevent complications. At Ghina Morad, DMD, we understand that dental emergencies happen after hours and on weekends, which is why we offer emergency appointments around the clock and on the same day that you call. Contact us today to schedule an emergency appointment with Dr. Ghina Morad.