Many of us develop a mild toothache, which usually goes away within a day or two.

But in some cases, a toothache can become very severe. For instance, if bacteria gets into the tooth and an abscess is formed, then it may require drainage, to prevent the spread of the infection.

Your toothache may be serious if:

1. You experience persistent, sharp pain or throbbing in your teeth.
2. You experience pain when pressure is applied to the tooth (e.g. when you bite down on food.)
3. The tooth pain worsens when you lie down.
4. Blood or pus is coming from your teeth.
5. Your jaw, face or neck is swollen.

So, how quickly should I make an appointment when I have a toothache?

If your toothache is mild, then it is normally ok to wait 24 hours to see if the pain subsides. In most cases, a mild toothache goes away on its own. During this time, take painkillers and avoid chewing on the painful side of the mouth, to help you manage the pain.

However, by day 2, if your tooth pain has worsened, and you have started experiencing more severe symptoms (such as bleeding, swelling, and being unable to chew), then you should make a dentist appointment as soon as possible.

If your toothache is very serious from the onset (for instance, if you have suffered a blow to the face), then you should make an appointment as quickly as you can. This would be a genuine tooth emergency, which requires fast intervention from a dental professional.



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One of the elements that our patients love about our practice is the state-of-the-art facilities we have to offer. We are proud to be able to provide you with a comfortable and safe environment for your emergency dental treatment

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When you need to get your teeth and gums looked at, it is important to do this in a timely and efficient manner. Our dedicated team of experience dental professionals are well trained to be able to offer fast and effective treatment in case of dental emergencies. 

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We understand the cost of living is going up, and people are finding it difficult, and that’s why we have made a conscious decision to implement competitive price points for our patients. We want to be able to cater to every budget and price point, and this is why we go out of our way to get this part of the process right.

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A lot of people are nervous about going to the dentist, and this means it is important to have staff who are compassionate and understanding. Our team of professionals are supportive, compassionate, and understanding, and provide personalised attention for every patient. 

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Are you wondering, will hospital see me for toothache?

Well, if your tooth emergency has brought on serious symptoms, then we would urge you to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

You should go to A&E as soon as possible if:

  • you are experiencing heavy bleeding.
  • the symptoms have spread to your body (e.g. if you have a fever).
  • you experience swelling in the mouth or neck.
  • you have difficulty breathing.
  • you have injured your mouth, teeth, or face.

If your toothache is less severe, but you still want to be examined by a healthcare professional, then you should book an emergency appointment at your dental practice. You will receive the appropriate advice, care and treatment from a dental professional to fix the problem.

If your toothache is mild, then there is no reason to visit a hospital to seek medical attention. It is normally okay to wait 24 hours, to see if your toothache goes away with the help of painkillers.

However, by day 2, if your tooth pain has worsened, and you have started experiencing more severe symptoms (such as bleeding, swelling, and being unable to chew), then you should make a dentist appointment as soon as possible.

If your toothache is very serious from the onset (for instance, if you have suffered a blow to the face), then you should see a dentist as quickly as you can. This would be a genuine tooth emergency, which requires fast intervention from a dental professional.

There is not much A&E can do to solve your dental emergency, unfortunately. Of course, if your problem has gone beyond your teeth then they can help you with whatever infection or swelling your original dental problem may have caused.

Other than this a hospital cannot help you here.

Oftentimes, a toothache can go away on its own, or after you use home remedies.

Take Ibuprofen or paracetamol regularly, but never more than 4 doses a day. You may find it beneficial to use tooth pain gels, which are available over the counter.

To make your natural tooth gel, apply a small amount of aloe vera gel to the painful area of your mouth. Aloe vera contains natural antibacterial qualities, so it can destroy the germs in the mouth that cause tooth decay.

You can also try holding a cold compress to the side of your face to reduce swelling.

Moreover, rinsing your mouth with salt water can ease tooth inflammation. Children should never do this, however.

Research has shown that peppermint tea bags can soothe sensitive gums and numb pain, as it kills bacteria found in the mouth. Simply pour boiling water over a peppermint tea bag and wait for it to cool. While the tea bag is slightly warm, apply it to the affected area.

If you are having trouble biting or chewing, then you may find it useful to eat soft foods, such as porridge, smoothies and mashed potatoes, rather than hard, sugary foods.

If none of the above methods offers you any relief, and your pain and symptoms worsen, then you should consult a dentist as soon as possible.

You would benefit from advice from a dental professional and you may even need treatment to resolve the dental problem, especially if there is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed (such as gum disease).

If you are experiencing a genuine dental emergency, you should visit a dentist as soon as possible. Many things could go wrong if you don’t get examined by a dentist. Your tooth pain or inflammation could worsen, necessitating more intense treatment.

Ignoring a very severe toothache could have harmful consequences for your oral hygiene and even your long-term health.

For instance, the pulp inside your tooth may become infected– which can lead to a dental abscess, severe gum inflammation, or other serious complications.

Moreover, your severe toothache may be an early indicator of gum inflammation or a bacterial infection. But if you don’t visit a dentist, then this may develop into periodontitis, which damages the soft tissue and, without treatment, can destroy the bone that supports your teeth.

Dental emergencies can also affect the entire body- as the bacteria in your mouth can also enter into your bloodstream and create problems like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other medical issues.

All of these examples demonstrate why it is important to see a dentist as soon as a tooth emergency happens. The earlier you get seen by a dental professional, the faster they will be able to help you overcome your problem, prevent further damage, and instruct you on the correct aftercare.

As a parent, it can be distressing when your child experiences a tooth emergency. They may cry, become very upset, or constantly complain of pain and discomfort.

Follow these steps if your child has a tooth emergency:

  • Stay calm. Your child may be irritable and upset if they have hurt themselves or lost a tooth. Be patient and speak to them in soothing, reassuring tones.
  • Assess the situation. Check your child out thoroughly. Look out for any facial swelling or bleeding.
  • Remove any objects from the child’s mouth, such as food, a dummy or a bottle.
  • If your child is bleeding from the mouth, grab a clean gauze or paper towel and ask your child to bite down on it. You can also apply a cold compress to the child’s face.
  • Make an emergency dental appointment for your child as soon as possible. The dentist will carry out a thorough examination and provide the necessary advice and treatment.
  • If your child has lost a tooth, try to find the tooth and bring it with you to the emergency dental appointment. Do not touch the root of the tooth as you handle it. Place the tooth in a container of milk to preserve it.
  • If the problem is more serious, call your GP, call 111, or take your child to A&E as soon as you can.

A toothache occurs when the innermost layer of the tooth (dental pulp) becomes inflamed.

There are many reasons why you may experience a toothache, such as:

  • Tooth decay or cavities
  • Loose or broken fillings
  • Tooth infection
  • Gum disease
  • Mouth injury or trauma to the mouth
  • An abscess (a painful collection of pus, usually caused by a bacterial infection)
  • Grinding your teeth (bruxism)
  • Wisdom tooth growing
  • Wisdom tooth infection
  • Eating hard, crunchy foods, or sugary foods
  • Severe stress or anxiety
  • Abnormal or misaligned bite
  • Ill-fitting dental appliance
  • Sinus congestion
  • Temporary toothache after recent dental treatment (e.g. getting braces or teeth whitening)

We all get toothaches, and in many cases, any minor pain usually settles and goes away, with the help of over-the-counter medication.

So, does a toothache count as emergency?

Well, after a few days, if your toothache does not go away with the use of painkillers, and your pain and/or symptoms persist and worsen, then this is a sign that your toothache is serious. We highly recommend that you visit a dentist as soon as you can, as you may need professional treatment.

Follow these handy tips to help you cope with a toothache:

  • Apply ice, or a cold compress to your cheek or jaw, for 20 minutes at a time, to ease swelling in the mouth.
  • Gargle with salt water, as this can ease inflammation and get rid of bacteria in the mouth. Children should never do this, however.
  • Rinse your mouth with peppermint tea. You can make the tea by pouring boiling water over dried peppermint leaves, or a peppermint tea bag. When you rinse, make sure that the tea is at a lukewarm or cool temperature, and not boiling hot, as it is dangerous to rinse with scalding hot water.
  • Tea tree oil contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, so it can heal tooth infections and prevent tooth decay. The natural oil can also penetrate into your gums and help numb the nerves causing your toothache. Rinse your mouth with a mixture of warm water and a couple of drops of tea tree oil. Take care not to swallow the mixture.
  • Clove oil can provide relief for a toothache, because it contains the active ingredient eugenol, which is a natural anesthetic. Simply dip a cotton bud or cotton ball in clove oil and then gently swipe this over the affected area in the mouth.
  • It may not sound appetizing, but chewing on an onion may bring you relief during a toothache. Onions are a natural antiseptic and can effectively eliminate germs in the mouth.
  • Reduce your intake of sugary foods and hard, crunchy foods. You may find it useful to follow a soft food diet until your toothache has gone- so, try eating foods such as soup, porridge, yogurt and pasta.