Man with toothache

 I’ve Got Toothache – Should I Phone My Dentist?


Toothache – From Ooh to Ouch!

Toothache, there’s nothing worse. You eat something cold and “Ooh!” – a sharp shooting pain in your tooth. You bite into something hard and “Ouch! that hurt!”. Or worst, you lie down to sleep and there’s a throbbing ache from one of your big molars that stops you drifting off.

Toothache takes many forms. Sometimes painkillers relieve it, sometimes it goes away by itself, sometimes granny’s hot toddy helps.  At it’s worst, absolutely nothing will shift it and it gnaws away at your brain making you grumpy and unable to focus.

But at what point do you call your dentist for help? Is it really that bad?  Have you ever made an appointment, turned up at the dentist and while sitting in the waiting room your toothache miraculously disappears! What witchcraft is that?!

Let’s talk about when toothache can be dealt with at home and when you need to give your dentist a call.


Brief Pain To Hot Or Cold

You know that pain. 

You take a drink of cold water or a sip of hot tea. “Ooh!”, you hold your tongue on the tooth until the sharp, sudden pain passes.  But when the hot or cold goes away so does the pain.

If this is happening to you, you most likely have sensitivity.

This happens when the outer enamel surface of your tooth has worn away, exposing the more sensitive part of your tooth in your mouth.

Switching your regular toothpaste to a sensitive toothpaste can relieve sensitivity.

If you try this for a week and it doesn’t relieve your symptoms, call and arrange to see your dentist.

If your dentist diagnoses sensitivity, they may suggest our Cosmic Clean with Sylc ™ . 

This is a cost-effective treatment which many people find solves their sensitivity problems overnight.  You can watch a video of the treatment here.

The best thing is it removes the stains from your teeth too, so you can eat again without pain and you can smile with confidence too. 

Win – Win.



Girl Eating Ice-cream

Longer Lasting Toothache

When your toothache is a sharp pain to hot or cold that lasts more than a few seconds, doesn’t get better with sensitive tooth treatment or starts to come on by itself, it’s time to call your dentist.

You can call the team at Coatbridge Family Dental Care on 01236 421103, or contact us here.

This toothache is usually due to the nerve of the tooth becoming inflamed.  The sooner it’s treated the better.  There’s more chance of saving your tooth and avoiding expensive treatments if you come and see us now.

So, don’t delay!


Constant Throbbing Toothache

If your tooth is aching all the time, you’re taking regular painkillers or you’re being kept awake by the pain, call your dentist as soon as possible.

This is a sign there is infection present (dental abscess) and it needs to be dealt with quickly so it doesn’t worsen or spread.  

The longer an infection like this is left without treatment, the more difficult and costly it is to treat.

Toothache like this can also really take over your life.  Having it dealt with quickly means you can concentrate at work and get a good night’s sleep.

Man in bed with toothache

Toothache or Not Toothache? That Is The Question.

When you have a pain in your teeth it can often be a sign that something else is going on.

Pain in several teeth on one side of your mouth (usually the top) which gets worse when you bend over or run, may be caused by Sinusitis

For sinusitis you should arrange an appointment to see your doctor.  It might also be worth making an appointment to see your dentist just to check your teeth too.

Pain which spreads from your teeth across your face and into your jaw joint or into your head may be a sign that you are grinding or clenching your teeth.  This can be due to stress.

Give your dentist a call.  They may suggest wearing a mouthguard a night.  

This will protect your teeth and stop your grinding/clenching.   Your toothache and headaches will go away and you’ll get a better night’s sleep. 

Read our blog post here to find out more grinding/clenching, headaches and how your dentist can help.

Pain From A Tooth You Can’t Even See?

If you’re suffering from toothache at the very back of your mouth (usually on the bottom), but it seems to be behind your teeth, it may be that the gum around your wisdom tooth is inflamed or infected.

This pain is caused by food underneath the gum over your wisdom tooth.  The gum then swells up and your top teeth start to bite on it.  

In the early stages, when you can just feel a wee niggle, rinsing with a Chlorhexidine mouthwash can sometimes be enough to settle things back down.

If things worsen give your dentist a call.

They’ll give things a good clean out and place an antiseptic pack under the gum to soothe things for you.


Wisdom Tooth


Call Us – We’re Here To Help

You may be worried about contacting your dentist, particularly during the pandemic. But we are here and ready to deal with your toothache when you need us.

Toothache can have a huge impact on your quality of life, affecting your sleep and concentration.  What’s more, in 2017, Dentistry magazine reported that a poll by National Smile Month showed that people regularly take time off work for dental problems. This costs the UK economy more than £105m every year.

So it’s definitely worth knowing when you should call your dentist!

At Coatbridge Family Dental Care our team are always on the end of the phone to give you advice if you have any concerns.  You can call us on 01236 421103 or contact us here.

If you’re suffering from toothache symptoms that we haven’t covered here, email us at  We’d love to hear from you.


Blog post written 30th April 2021

(Please note prices and information are correct at time of publishing and may be subject to change. Please contact us on 01236 421103 or for the most up-to-date pricing and information)