Experiencing sudden dental pain? Signs of a dental emergency

We all know what constitutes a medical emergency; if we see someone being injured in public, we call for help.


Indeed, almost all workplaces and schools teach their employees first aid skills, in order to act quickly if an accident or emergency occurs in the workplace.

But, what exactly are the signs of a dental emergency?

While many of us don’t want to think about this eventuality, dental emergencies are very common and, if not diagnosed promptly, can lead to further complications.

Our team at Northern Beaches Dental in Mackay is trained in how to help you during a dental emergency and will usually aim to provide you with a same-day appointment. Our dentist in Mackay will take extra care when assessing your mouth, to ensure that when you leave our surgery, you will be able to get on with your day. Perfect!

But, how do you know if that toothache is going to become a bit more problematic? Our dentist in Mackay has the answer!

Swollen jaw

The traditional image of a person with a swollen face being linked to a dental issue is not a coincidence.

In fact, our dentist in Mackay treats people with some degree of swelling every day and can state with certainty, that this is a sign that you need a same-day dental appointment. A swollen jaw can be indicative of an infection, an impacted wisdom tooth or even oral cancer, so it is imperative that the moment you notice the swelling, you contact our team.


OK, so it goes without saying that a dental emergency is probably going to be uncomfortable.

But, as you know your body better than anyone, you will know your individual pain threshold and may be able to withstand a higher level of discomfort than other people.

However, a pulsating, burning, stabbing or sharp pain under a tooth is an indicator that there is an issue. Combined with swelling and discolouration of the gums, this could point to an infection that will require urgent treatment.


Imagine that yesterday, you were dealing with dental pain throughout most of the day. Today, you have woken up and the area feels numb. Is this a good thing? Unlikely.

While nobody wants a persistent toothache, if the tooth that was giving you grief yesterday suddenly goes numb, it is likely that an infection has reached the nerve of the tooth. This will usually require urgent treatment with a root canal.

Persistent earache

Earaches are far from fun but, if you have a persistent earache after so many numbing ear drops and painkillers, it is time to see one of our emergency team.

Referred pain from an impacted tooth can cause earache, as can discomfort from an infection, so if the earache won’t let up, you may have a dental issue.


If you have a fever, a numb or painful tooth, and swelling, you need urgent dental treatment.

Such comorbid symptoms usually indicate a severe infection, so book that emergency appointment now, as relief can be quickly delivered by our team.


All dental treatments carry potential risks. Contact your local dental team for more information about the procedures mentioned in this article.