When Should You Go To The Dentist If You Have A Toothache?

Toothaches have many different potential causes and different solutions. It is not uncommon for there to be small temporary pain in your mouth caused by chewing on something hard or a sports injury. So one common question for individuals, is when to call a dentist if your teeth and gums are hurting. Well there are two general rules here; duration & severity. If the pain makes it impossible to eat or is constant and throbbing, you should call a dentist. Or if the pain lasts for more than two days you should call a dentist. Below we will discuss a few more things to consider surrounding toothaches. If you need a dentist in Southern Maine, we would be happy to help. 

How Do I Know if My Toothache is Serious?

There are many different causes of toothache. What you need to consider is the difference between temporary pain potentially caused by an injury or other issue vs pain which means you either need to schedule an appointment in the coming weeks or an emergency appointment. 

  • Some toothaches are caused from pain outside of your tooth. For example, you might have some pain near your tooth due to some gum irritation caused by brushing too hard. Or you might have some pain around your tooth from chewing on something hard. These toothaches tend to go away on their own. If your tooth hurts, consider eating soft foods and avoiding very hot/cold foods. 
  • Toothaches that are caused because of issues inside your tooth are the ones you need to look out for. Inside your tooth is the tooth pulp which has a nerves. Sharp, throbbing, or constant pain (or pain caused by putting pressure on a tooth) can all be signs of an issue with a tooth that needs to be seen by a dentist. This type of pain can be caused by a damaged filling, tooth decay, or a bacterial infection. If you have constant or throbbing pain that lasts longer than a day or two, you should call a dentist. In the meantime, consider taking OTC pain medications and avoiding hot/cold foods and putting pressure on that tooth. 
  • If you are in severe pain or you can see that your tooth is cracked, chipped, or broken you should make an emergency dental appointment so that you can see a dentist right away. 

Home Treatment For Tootchaches

If you have oral pain and need to treat it at home while waiting to see a dentist, there are a few things you can do. First, you want to rinse out your mouth. Warm, lightly salted water is a great way to reduce inflammation and remove debris between your teeth. A half teaspoon of salt in a full glass of warm (not hot) water can help disinfect your mouth. A cold compress can also reduce swelling and decrease pain felt around your mouth. Finally, pain medications like OTC pain relievers can help you handle pain while you wait to see a dentist. 

Emergency Dentist in Southern Maine

If you live in the Lisbon Maine area and need to see a dentist right away, give us a call. We would be happy to help you with any dental issues you are having.