Tooth pain can strike at any time, often when you least expect it. When it does, the pain can be unbearable, making it hard to eat, sleep, or even think. But what should you do if you find yourself in this situation? Can you go to the emergency room for tooth pain.

Understanding Tooth Pain

Tooth pain can range from a mild annoyance to severe agony. It can have many causes, including tooth decay, broken teeth, infections, or dental abscesses. Sometimes, pain might even result from dental apparatus or stress. Understanding the cause of your tooth pain is essential for deciding the best course of action, and consulting an emergency dentist can provide the immediate care you need.

How Do You Stop a Toothache Urgently?

Common Causes of Tooth Pain

  1. Tooth Decay: One of the most common causes, resulting from untreated cavities.

  2. Broken or Damaged Teeth: Accidents can lead to cracked or broken teeth, exposing nerves.

  3. Infections and Abscesses: These can cause significant pain and swelling, requiring prompt treatment.

  4. Dental Apparatus Issues: Misaligned braces or ill-fitting dentures can cause discomfort.

  5. Stress: Surprisingly, stress can lead to tooth grinding, resulting in tooth pain.

When to Visit the Emergency Room

The NHS advises that you should only go to A&E for tooth pain under specific conditions. These include:

  1. Severe swelling needs immediate attention if it affects your eye, neck, or face.

  2. Swelling can make it hard to breathe, swallow, or speak. Go to the emergency room.

Will an Emergency Dentist Extract a Tooth?

Why These Conditions Require A&E

Swelling in the face or neck can indicate a serious infection that might spread quickly. Breathing or swallowing issues can signal an airway infection. This is a medical emergency. In these cases, immediate treatment is crucial.

Alternatives to the Emergency Room

For most tooth pain, the emergency room is not the best option. Instead, consider these alternatives:

Emergency Dental Appointments

Many dental practices offer emergency appointments. If you have a regular dentist, call them first. They can provide specific advice and possibly see you on short notice.

Urgent Care Centres

If you can’t reach your dentist, urgent care centers can help. They can give temporary relief and prescribe painkillers or antibiotics.

Can You Get an Emergency Dentist Appointment Anywhere?

Managing Pain at Home

While waiting for a dental appointment, you can manage pain with over-the-counter painkillers. These include paracetamol or ibuprofen. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can also help alleviate pain and reduce swelling.

What to Expect at the Emergency Room

If you do end up at A&E for tooth pain, the staff can help manage your symptoms but won’t provide full dental treatment. Here’s what might happen:

  1. Pain Relief: The staff can give you painkillers to manage your pain.

  2. They can prescribe antibiotics to stop an infection from spreading.

  3. Referral: They might refer you to a dentist for further treatment.

What is an Extreme Dental Emergency?

Preventing Tooth Pain

Prevention is always better than cure. To avoid tooth pain, maintain good oral hygiene:

  1. Regular Dental Check-ups: Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings.

  2. Proper Brushing and Flossing: Brush twice a day and floss daily to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

  3. Healthy Diet: Avoid excessive sugary foods and drinks that can lead to cavities.

Tips for Immediate Relief

If you’re suffering from tooth pain and can’t see a dentist right away, try these tips:

  1. Cold Compress: Apply a cold compress to the outside of your cheek to reduce swelling.

  2. Over-the-counter Painkillers: Take pain relief medication as directed.

  3. Salt Water Rinse: Gargle with a warm salt water solution to help reduce inflammation and disinfect your mouth.

Will an Emergency Dentist Take a Tooth Out? 


Tooth pain is distressing. But, knowing when to visit the emergency room and what other options exist can help you decide well. Remember, severe swelling and trouble breathing or swallowing are signs. You need medical help right away. For other tooth pain issues, your best bet is to contact your dentist or an urgent care centre. Regular dental care and good oral hygiene can help prevent tooth pain. They stop it from occurring. If you’re in need of dental care, consider reaching out to Oldmachar Dental Care for professional assistance.

Frequently Asked Question

Can I use painkillers for tooth pain?

Yes, non-prescription painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen can help with tooth pain. They can do so until you can see a dentist.

Is a knocked-out tooth a dental emergency?

Yes, a knocked-out tooth requires immediate dental attention. Try to place the tooth back in its socket or store it in milk and see a dentist immediately.

How do I know if my toothache is serious?

If you have severe pain, swelling, or trouble breathing or swallowing, get medical help now. Otherwise, contact your dentist for an evaluation.

What can I do to prevent tooth pain?

Keep good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing often. Also, visit your dentist for check-ups.

Can stress cause tooth pain?

Yes, stress can lead to tooth grinding, which can cause tooth pain and other dental issues.