Would You Consider a Toothache a Dental Emergency?

toothache dental emergencyA toothache means something different to everyone, and can range from a dull, vague annoyance to a sharp, jarring, throbbing pain that can ruin your entire day. Sometimes, a toothache may not be anything serious—at least, not at the moment. Usually, however, a toothache means that your tooth’s defenses have been compromised and its sensitive, vulnerable tissues are in danger. Whether that danger stems from accidental damage or a progressive tooth infection, the sensation of a toothache should always be taken seriously, or it can quickly give way to a dental emergency. (Fortunately, our office is open 7 days a week, and we can even schedule same-day visits to provide the emergency dental care you deserve.)

The Nature of Most Toothaches

Tooth Damage

You might automatically recognize that a cracked, fractured, or broken tooth is an immediate cause or concern. Even if you don’t understand the threat of infection and further damage, the pain itself could prompt you to stop what you’re doing and call your dentist. The reason a damaged tooth hurts is because its nerves, which are housed in the pulp chamber at the center of the tooth’s crown, are exposed. The exposure also means that the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels are in danger of infection from oral bacteria.

Tooth Infection

Unlike a damaged tooth, an infected one may not hurt so badly in the beginning. More commonly known as tooth decay, the infection begins when acid from your food and beverages, and produced by oral bacteria, weaken the layer of enamel surrounding a tooth. If enamel develops a hole, then bacteria can slip past it and infect your tooth’s main structure, growing worse until the decay reaches the nerves and tissues directly.

When to Schedule a Visit

Aside from an accident that cracks or breaks your tooth, a toothache might not typically be considered an emergency. Nevertheless, we advise thinking of it as one, since any of your tooth structure that is damaged or lost to infection will not grow back. If you experience a toothache to any degree, then schedule a dental examination at your earliest convenience to prevent it from growing worse.


Dr. Bob Jing has served patients and their families across Dallas/Ft. Worth for many years. Together with his caring, compassionate, and highly-skilled team at 7 Day Dental, Dr. Jing is dedicated to making good dental health available to as many people as possible. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation or appointment, contact our office closest to you at 817-405-2001 on Jacksboro Highway, or at 817-405-0195 on Seminary Drive.