Should I go to the hospital if my toothache is unbearable?

Should I go to the hospital if my toothache is unbearable?

September 15, 2023


Dealing with unbearable tooth pain can be a distressing experience. In such situations, it is natural to question whether a trip to the hospital is warranted. However, before rushing to emergency dentistry, it’s important to consider the role of emergency dentists in providing immediate relief and dental care. In this informative article, we will assess the severity of toothaches, explore home remedies for temporary relief, discuss the importance of contacting a dental professional, and weigh the benefits of seeking emergency dental care. Join us as we unravel the complexities surrounding unbearable toothaches and guide you toward the most appropriate action.

Assessing the Severity of the Toothache

Understanding the nature and intensity of your toothache is crucial in determining the best course of action. Consider the following factors:

  1. Understanding the nature of the toothache: Is the pain constant, throbbing, or intermittent? Does it radiate to other areas of the mouth? Assessing the nature of the pain can provide valuable insights into potential causes.
  2. Evaluating the pain intensity: Is the toothache excruciating and unbearable, or is it manageable with over-the-counter pain relievers? Determining the severity of the pain can help gauge the urgency of seeking professional dental care.
  3. Identifying potential causes of toothache: Toothaches can result from various factors, such as dental decay, infection, abscess, or trauma. Understanding the potential cause can aid in communicating effectively with a dental professional.

Seeking Immediate Relief at Home

Before considering a hospital visit, there are several home remedies you can try to alleviate the pain temporarily:

  1. Trying over-the-counter pain medications: Non-prescription pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can temporarily relieve toothache discomfort. Follow the recommended dosage and instructions.
  2. Applying cold compresses to reduce swelling: Placing a cold pack or ice wrapped in a cloth against the affected area can help numb the pain and reduce swelling.
  3. Rinsing the mouth with warm salt water: Gently rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater solution can help soothe the gums and provide temporary relief.
  4. Using clove oil for temporary pain relief: Applying a small amount of clove oil to the affected area using a cotton ball can provide temporary numbing and pain relief.

Contacting a Dental Professional

If the tooth pain remains unbearable or worsens, it is essential to seek professional dental care. Contact a dental professional in Minnetonka, MN, such as Holger Dental Group, to discuss your symptoms and seek guidance. The dental professional can:

  1. Consult with you over the phone or via a virtual consultation to assess the severity of the toothache and provide preliminary advice.
  2. Schedule an appointment promptly to address the issue and provide necessary treatment.
  3. If available, discuss emergency dental services that can provide immediate relief and treatment for urgent dental conditions.

How do you get rid of an excruciating toothache?

Getting rid of an excruciating toothache requires professional dental intervention. Relying solely on home remedies or over-the-counter pain medication may provide temporary relief but does not address the underlying cause of the pain. Consulting a dental professional and following their recommended treatment plan is crucial for long-lasting pain relief and resolution of the dental issue.

Considering Emergency Dental Care Options

Emergency dental care options are specifically designed to address urgent dental conditions, including unbearable toothaches. Consider the following factors when deciding whether to seek emergency dental care:

  1. Understanding the role of emergency dental clinics: Emergency dental clinics specialize in providing immediate relief and urgent dental care outside of regular office hours. They are equipped to handle severe toothaches and other dental emergencies promptly.
  2. Evaluating the availability and accessibility of emergency dental care: Research local emergency dental clinics to determine their availability, operating hours, and accessibility. Check if they accept walk-ins or require appointments.
  3. Weighing the benefits of immediate treatment: Seeking emergency dental care ensures timely diagnosis and treatment, potentially preventing further complications and alleviating unbearable toothache symptoms promptly.
  4. Discussing potential costs and insurance coverage: Inquire about the costs associated with emergency dental care and determine if your dental insurance covers such services. Understanding the financial aspect will help you make an informed decision.

Assessing the Need for Hospital Care

In most cases, seeking treatment from an emergency dentist is the most appropriate course of action for an unbearable toothache. However, there may be instances where hospital care is necessary, such as:

  1. Dental emergencies with severe complications: If the toothache is accompanied by severe swelling, difficulty breathing or swallowing, uncontrolled bleeding, or trauma to the face or mouth, it may require immediate attention at a hospital emergency department.
  2. Recognizing the limitations of hospital treatment for dental issues: While hospitals can provide temporary pain relief and manage severe complications, they may not have dental professionals on staff to address the underlying dental problem. They may refer you to an emergency dentist near you for specialized dental care.
  3. Consult a dental or medical professional for further advice: If unsure whether your toothache warrants hospital care, contact a dental or medical professional for guidance. They can assess your symptoms and advise you on the most appropriate action.


When faced with an unbearable toothache, it is crucial to assess the severity of the pain, try home remedies for temporary relief, and contact a dental professional for guidance. While emergency dental care is often the most suitable option for toothaches, considering the need for hospital care is necessary in cases with severe complications. By evaluating the available options, seeking professional dental care, and understanding the role of emergency dental clinics, you can find the most effective solution to alleviate your unbearable toothache and promptly address the underlying dental issue. Trust the expertise of Holger Dental Group in Minnetonka, MN, to guide you through this challenging dental situation and provide the necessary relief and care you need.

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