How Do I Know If My Toothache is Serious?

Although they're not always harmful, toothaches can indicate more significant issues. Call your O'Fallon dentist as soon as possible if you have a toothache and have tried at-home treatments without success.

Tooth discomfort may arise for various reasons. Look for these symptoms to determine whether your toothache is serious:


Pain that lasts longer than a day or two


It is important that you always treat tooth pain seriously, regardless of how severe or persistent it is. In actuality, your toothache could be signalling you to have a cavity or a sinus infection, among other serious conditions.


Pain that persists for more than a day or two is typically indicative of an issue, such as a dead tooth, gum disease, broken or cracked teeth, infection, or abscess in the mouth. Delaying receiving treatment for this kind of tooth discomfort can make it worse, spread, or possibly result in irreversible damage or tooth loss.


Rinsing with salt water (mixing half a teaspoon of salt with a glass of warm or cold water) will help ease pain by dislodging any food particles that have become lodged and by lowering localised inflammation. Try using an over-the-counter pain treatment like acetaminophen or ibuprofen if your toothache doesn't go away. In addition, numbing topical gels or pastes might help lessen pain—especially if the toothache is caused by an exposed nerve.




It's necessary to make an appointment with the dentist if your face, jaw, or gums swell along with your toothache. Swelling frequently suggests that a dental abscess—a pocket or "blister" of pus—is forming around the tooth or that the tooth is infected. Difficulty ignoring pain and swelling can result from an infection that spreads to the bone and tissue surrounding the tooth.


It is even more crucial to seek treatment as soon as possible at the emergency hospital or dentist if you have a fever. If you don't get treatment for the infection very soon, it might cause sepsis or other major health issues. Fever and swelling are signs that the infection is growing throughout your body.


Tooth discomfort is never normal and typically indicates that a cavity, infected root, or fractured tooth has to be repaired. Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing often, and scheduling routine dental appointments are the best ways to avoid tooth pain.


Ear pain


A toothache has the ability to transmit pain signals to other areas of the head, neck, and mouth. Because of this, a toothache that also mimics an earache is extremely dangerous and shouldn't be disregarded. This symptom indicates the presence of an infection or abscess, or that your mouth has been traumatised.


Your ears are the passageway for the neural pathways that supply feeling to your teeth. This implies that referred pain might result from a toothache in the same way that back pain can radiate to the arms or legs. This pounding feeling in the ears is abnormal and may be a sign of an infection that needs to be treated right away due to a dying nerve or another dental issue. Visiting the dentist and having the problem assessed is the only way to find out. By doing this, you'll stop it from getting worse and possibly jeopardising your general health. You can lower your risk of developing dental issues and complications by going to the dentist on a regular basis for cleanings.




The majority of toothaches are brought on by infections that don't represent a major risk to your general health. But an infection can become harmful or even fatal if it moves from the mouth to other areas of the body. Make an emergency appointment with your dentist as soon as possible if you feel that the pain is moving to your neck, jaw, cheek, or ear.


After eating, a persistent toothache is an indication of a problem. It can be an impacted tooth that needs to be extracted right away, a cavity, or a fractured filling. Delaying seeing your dentist will just make the issue worse and perhaps turn into something much more serious.


When tooth pain is coupled with a fever and chills, there may be major dental issues that need to be addressed right away. This kind of infection has the potential to damage the brain and enter the bloodstream. Ludwig's angina is a potentially fatal illness that can develop if left untreated and calls for emergency medical intervention.