toothache during pandemic

What to do when you get a Toothache during a Pandemic

Dr Devine General Dentistry

toothache during pandemicServing Brentwood, Belle Meade and Green Hills Areas of Nashville TN

We’re all sort of COVID long haulers at this point. It’s been almost a year since our lives were changed forever. Many have resorted to sheltering in place for most of this time, only venturing out when necessary. While the pandemic has altered how many of us conduct our day to day lives, there are certain things it can’t control – your dental health. Despite the fact that the world has been focused on COVID, life still goes on around us. What happens when you get a toothache, yet you’re afraid to leave your house because of the pandemic? This is a concern for many people, so today on the blog, our Nashville emergency dentists explain what to do when you get a toothache during COVID.

Toothaches can be sudden or manifest over time. No matter how your tooth pain began, it’s a sign that something needs fixing. Teeth shouldn’t hurt. And when they do, you should see the dentist. Here are several causes of toothaches.


Tooth decay develops when oral bacteria secret acids that erode dental enamel. Foods containing sugar, carbohydrates, or that are highly acidic are likely to increase your risk of developing cavities. Eventually, if not treated, cavities become larger and infiltrate the tooth’s inner layers, causing tooth sensitivity or a toothache. Routine dental checkups allow your dentists in Nashville to identify cavities in their earliest stage. This way, tooth decay doesn’t get to the point where it causes you pain. Usually, a small to moderate-sized cavity can be repaired with a dental filling. However, larger areas of decay require extensive treatments like a dental crown, root canal or could lead to complete tooth loss.

Gum Disease

About half of the adults in the U.S. have gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. Gum disease can easily develop when you ignore your oral health, avoid going to the dentist, and don’t take care of your teeth and gums. Bacteria form pockets below your gum line, which leads to gum recession, and weakens the jawbone and tissue responsible for holding your teeth in their sockets. If left untreated, gum disease will lead to toothaches, bad breath, an increase in tooth decay, and eventual tooth loss. Patients with gum disease can receive treatment at our Nashville general dentist’s office.


An abscessed tooth develops when oral bacteria cause the tooth’s internal nerve to become infected and inflamed. It’s usually a result of either a deep crack or a large cavity. An abscess causes an immense amount of pain that usually forces the sufferer to pace the floor back and forth in an effort to relieve their pain. If you have a severe toothache, and you notice a pimple-like pustule on the side of your gum, have facial swelling, or the affected area is red or hot to the touch, it’s likely an abscess. Avoid going to the local emergency room, as they are not equipped to treat abscessed teeth. Instead, call an emergency dentist in Nashville that’s open during COVID.

Cracked or Broken Tooth

A damaged tooth that is broken or fractured, either from excess biting force, or an injury to the face, could result in a toothache. It’s important to get a cracked tooth evaluated by the dentist because ignoring gives oral bacteria an avenue to penetrate the tooth’s inner layers, compromising the nerve. A cracked or broken tooth can often be fixed by placing a dental crown over the tooth, sealing out bacteria, and concealing the break. Our same-day crowns in Nashville make this process simple and quick for patients.

Damaged or Missing Dental Restoration

Dental restorations like crowns and fillings are quite durable and improve in quality year after year. But still, dental work isn’t going to last forever. From time to time, patients experience old fillings that fall out or crowns that pop off. Usually, this is a sign that something else is going on with the tooth, but in either case, a missing dental restoration could cause a toothache.

TMJ Disorder

Surrounding each tooth’s root are periodontal ligaments. These ligaments are soft tissue that can become inflamed or bruised if you have bruxism and you clench and grind your teeth at night, have TMJ disorder, or injure your tooth by accidentally biting on something too hard. Continuing to bite unevenly puts an enormous amount of pressure on specific teeth, which could cause you to experience toothaches, and even jaw joint pain. A simple bite guard can be designed for you to wear while you sleep to relieve biting pressure and ease your dental pain.

At Devine Dentistry, we understand that the pandemic has caused many to stay at home as much as possible. But dental concerns still occur. Our Nashville emergency dentists are here to help when you get a toothache, have a broken tooth, or an old restoration falls out. It’s important not to neglect your oral health, especially when you experience dental pain or a toothache. To schedule your visit with our emergency dentists, call Devine Dentistry at (615) 269-4209. We’d also like you to feel safe and comfortable in knowing our COVID protocols and how we continue to keep our patients and team safe during the pandemic.