Is a Toothache Really That Serious?


Tooth pain can range from mild to severe, but it should always be evaluated by a dentist. Whether you have an occasional toothache or steady, increasing pain, it’s always a good idea to contact your dentist to treat the problem. Although some patients don’t consider toothaches to be emergencies, sometimes they are! Here are a few problems that could be causing your toothache and when you should get in to see the dentist.

Infected Tooth or Gums

As tooth decay progresses, it can destroy the layers of our teeth to reach the inner tooth pulp that helps keep our tooth alive. Once the pulp becomes infected, it can be extremely painful. Although your dentist may be able to save your tooth with a root canal, the infection could warrant a tooth removal if it’s advanced.

You could also have advanced gum disease, which may be creating an infection in your gums and in turn, making your teeth hurt. Gum disease can attack the ligaments that keep our teeth connected to our jaw, therefore leading to loose teeth and toothaches. If you’re experiencing a foul taste in your mouth along with pain, get yourself to a dentist as soon as possible!


Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, is extremely damaging to teeth. It puts a huge amount of pressure on your pearly whites and cause injury to the teeth, such as cracks or chips. Bruxism is also a common reason that teeth ache or hurt, especially during times of stress or upon first waking in the morning.

If you believe you’re experiencing tooth grinding, schedule an appointment with your dentist. Although this isn’t a dental emergency, the sooner you can get yourself to the dentist, the less damage your teeth will accrue.


If you’ve received an injury to your mouth or face that’s resulted in a knocked-out or broken tooth, this is a dental emergency and you need to get to a dentist or the emergency room as soon as possible. If you’ve had an injury that’s not resulted in a direct impact to your teeth but is still resulting in a toothache, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as you’re able. He or she can take x-rays to determine if there’s any damage to your jaw.


Tooth decay can get severe enough to cause an infection, but it doesn’t have to get to that point in order for it to cause pain. Even advanced cavities that have not yet reached the tooth pulp can still cause toothaches. The sooner you see a dentist, the better!

Dry Socket

If you’ve recently had a tooth extracted such as from wisdom tooth removal, you’re at risk to develop dry socket. This happens when the blood clot that has formed over the empty tooth socket to protect it and help it heal has been dislodged. Dry socket exposes your jaw bone to air, food, and bacteria. This can be extremely painful and should be seen by a dentist immediately. Fortunately, dry socket affects less than 10% of people who get a tooth removed.

Are you experiencing a toothache? Don’t let the pain go on for days or even weeks. Dentists are trained to quickly identify the problem and effectively treat your pain. Whether you have an injury, cavity, or infection, your dentist can help!

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Is a Toothache Really That Serious?
Are you experiencing a toothache? Don’t let the pain go on for days or even weeks. Dentists are trained to quickly identify the problem and effectively treat your pain.


Karan Kamboh
Karan Kamboh

Dr. Karan Kamboh is an experienced family and cosmetic dentist serving Ashburn & Lansdowne, Virginia. For more information on Dr. Kamboh, visit

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