Does a Toothache Always Warrant a Trip to the Dentist?


Quick Answer

If a toothache lasts longer than 1 or 2 days, a trip to the dentist is recommended according to the National Health Service. Until a patient can get a dental appointment, medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help with the pain.

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Full Answer

Toothaches can be constant or intermittent and may be caused by eating or drinking things that are hot or cold. Generally, toothaches are caused by tooth decay that leads to cavities. Other causes of toothache may be a cracked or broken tooth, loose or broken fillings or a tooth abscess. Once at the dentist, he or she will perform an oral exam and may order X-rays of the painful tooth and surrounding area to reach a diagnosis.

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