Acute toothache
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Toothache can occur suddenly, and it Is the body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. You should therefore listen to your pain and go to the dentist.

Purpose Acute relief of severe pain
Result Obtain relief from pain and receive treatment
Sedation Local sedation – option to choose full anesthesia or sedation
Number of visits Professional individual assessment
Visit duration 30 – 40 minutes

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Acute toothache

Toothache can arise suddenly, indicating that something is wrong with your body.

Regardless of the severity of the toothache, it is crucial that you seek treatment as soon as possible.

Do you have an acute toothache?

On this page, we have listed how to react in case of acute toothache and the possible causes of these sudden pains.

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Remedying acute toothache

In case of acute toothache, you should always contact your dentist (in Danish) and seek treatment.

At Godt Smil, we always strive to find an appointment for you on the same day as you contact us, regardless of whether you are a patient at Godt Smil or not.

Additionally, some of our clinics are available for regular treatments on weekends, with select clinics open on Saturdays (in Danish).

However, we cannot guarantee an appointment or that you will be able to receive treatment at your usual clinic.

Therefore, we ask that you contact us by telephone rather than email, as we cannot guarantee that your message will be read the same day you send it.

Referral to dental emergency services outside normal opening hours

Outside of our normal opening hours, which are Monday to Friday, we refer patients to the dental emergency services in the respective region. The dental emergency services operate on Saturdays and Sundays.

You can find contact information for the dental emergency services on the Dental Association’s webpage (Danish link).

Please note that our clinics have different opening hours, and we will provide you with this information when you call.

We are ready to assist you, so please do not hesitate to call.

What can cause acute toothache?

There are several factors that can cause acute toothache. These include:

  • Caries attack in a tooth that has reached the nerve, resulting in shooting pains, either constant or in waves.
  • A broken tooth, which can expose the nerve and cause pain when eating or drinking, regardless of temperature.
  • Sensitivity in the neck of a tooth, leading to mild pain often caused by vigorous brushing.
  • Tooth fracture, causing soreness when the tooth is struck by something hard.

Inflammation as a possible cause

If your gums are sore or swollen, it could indicate that the nerve in the tooth is dead, and the inflammation has spread to the root tip and the surrounding area.

Inflammation can also be caused by the area surrounding an impacted wisdom tooth.

If there is not enough space for the tooth, your dentist may recommend its removal.

Other causes for acute toothache

If you experience pain in one or several of your teeth when chewing, there can be several reasons for it.

As mentioned before, it could be due to inflammation in the area surrounding the tooth. Additionally, a new filling, especially if it is too high, can cause toothache.

Other causes include an upper wisdom tooth biting down on the gums around a lower wisdom tooth or biting down on something hard that results in a sprained tooth.

Toothache can occur suddenly and does not always have to be acute.

Dealing with acute toothache when no dentist is available

If you have acute toothache and are unable to see a dentist, there are a few things you can do yourself until you can get professional help.

Contact the on-call doctor in severe cases

If one of your teeth is sore when pressure is applied or it you notice swelling in the gums, you should contact the on-call doctor immediately. In severe cases, they may prescribe antibiotics.

If you have a broken tooth with sharp edges that bother your tongue, you can use a nail file to round the edges.

However, be cautious as it does not take much filing to remove the sharpness entirely.

You can purchase a tooth kit from the pharmacy that contains materials for temporary fillings to shape the broken tooth. Before using it, make sure to thoroughly read the instruction manual.

Over the counter medicine for pain relief

Regular over the counter medicines can also be used for pain relief. However, it is important to always contact your dentist as soon as possible.

Your dentist will provide you with sound advice to follow until you can receive treatment. In the meantime, make sure to keep the irritated tooth clean by brushing and flossing regularly.

If you have a cavity or a fracture in the tooth, you can also use chewing gum to temporarily cover the cavity.

Often asked questions

What should you do if you have acute toothache?

Here are the top 5 pieces of advice for toothache relief:

1. Prevent further damage by brushing and using dental floss regularly.

2. Take over the counter medication to alleviate the pain.

3. Use mouthwash with chlorhexidine if there is redness and swelling.

4. Avoid chewing hard foods.

5. Apply a cold compress to the cheek if there is swelling.

Read more about acute toothache here.

Can toothache cause death?

No, toothache itself cannot cause death, but it can be extremely painful. However, an infection in your mouth can have an impact on your overall health.

Prolonged use of painkillers to manage the pain can also strain your body.

We therefore recommend addressing the cause of the pain and seeking treatment before it worsens.

Contact us here (in Danish).

How many painkillers can I take for toothache?

The recommended dosage of painkillers for adults with toothache is 1 Ibuprofen 200mg and 2 Advil 500mg, three times a day, at most.

Can you get sick from a toothache?

Yes, toothache can lead to a tooth abscess, and it can cause fever.

It is not uncommon to have trouble yawning or swallowing when experiencing a toothache.

Difficulty in swallowing can be a sign of throat swelling, which requires immediate attention and treatment.

Why do I have toothache?

There are many potential causes of toothache. One of the most common causes is a cavity in the tooth.

However, you can also experience pain after a tooth extraction or if the tooth’s neck is exposed. It is important not to delay getting your toothache checked by a dentist.

Can a toothache cause a sore throat?

If you have trouble swallowing when you have a toothache, it is important to have it addressed, as it could be a sign of throat swelling.

Prolonged toothache and throat swelling should not be ignored, as it can, in severe causes, obstruct your airways.

What should I do about a sprained tooth?

If you have a sprained tooth, follow the same procedure as you would for a sprained foot.

Take care to avoid chewing hard foods.

Have your dentist perform an x-ray to ensure that the tooth’s nerve has not been damaged.

Make sure to report the damage to your insurance to be covered in case of future complications.

How can I determine if I have a cavity in my tooth?

Enamel is made of minerals, so if you have a cavity, there will be demineralization. This demineralization will often appear as a slightly different color than the rest of the tooth, usually darker or amber-colored.

In some cases, there may be a surface fracture on the tooth. If there is no visible fracture, an x-ray can help identify areas of demineralization.

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