Each year, about 40% of women and men in the United States report having some oral pain. More than 80% will have at least one cavity by age 30.
Your teeth are the only part of your body that can’t repair or heal themselves. Once a tooth has cracked, chipped, or developed a cavity, you need a dentist’s help to save the tooth. If your tooth hurts, it’s a warning signal that something’s gone wrong.
Our providers at Le Dentistry & Associates in Norcross, Georgia, take toothaches seriously. If you’re in pain, we find out why and then customize a treatment plan to resolve your problem and pain.
How do you know when to contact your dentist about a toothache? The following brief can help you decide.
The causes of toothaches
Before deciding whether you need a routine appointment for a tooth or a dental emergency visit, try to identify the underlying cause of your pain. Common toothache causes include:
- Minor gum irritation
- Wisdom tooth eruption
- Wisdom tooth impaction
- Gum disease
- Abscess in the tooth or gums
- Tooth decay
- Cracked, chipped, or broken tooth
- Damaged or lost filling
- Excessively worn tooth enamel
Minor gum irritation could be due to a temporary problem, such as a popcorn husk trapped between your gums and a tooth. However, all other causes require dental treatment to prevent further damage and pain.
Some dental issues are more urgent than others. Without a dental exam, it could be impossible to identify the cause of your pain. Your toothache may be related to a problem hidden within the affected tooth or below the gumline.
What do your symptoms say?
The sensitive nerve endings in your mouth and jaw can make a toothache range in severity from annoying discomfort to excruciating pain. Many describe the pain of a toothache as the worst they’ve ever experienced.
Most toothaches aren’t considered life-threatening. However, the condition driving the pain could cause serious illness. A bacterial infection in your gums or inner tooth could spread to essential organs, including your heart, via your bloodstream.
We recommend you schedule an urgent appointment for pain that:
- Is difficult to ignore
- Doesn’t respond to over-the-counter pain medication
- Lasts longer than one or two days
- Is accompanied by foul odor/drainage from the mouth, earache, or fever
- Makes it difficult to open your mouth
- Occurs along with swelling of the face or in the mouth
- Increases in severity
Contact our office immediately if your toothache is severe. We accommodate dental emergencies if necessary.
When your toothache goes away
Your pain may get resolved if it’s a temporary issue, such as minor gum irritation or tooth sensitivity. Usually, that means the underlying issue gets resolved, too.
However, most dental problems don’t heal on their own. Gum disease, a fractured tooth, a cavity, lost filling, and other issues only worsen with time. They can eventually compromise your oral health and overall health, too.
If your toothache bothers you enough to read this, you probably need help healing the source of your pain. Call Le Dentistry & Associates for toothache treatment today by booking an appointment online or calling our friendly staff.