Just a Toothache? 3 Reasons to Not Ignore Your Tooth Pain

Don't ignore a toothache

Don’t ignore ongoing tooth pain.

A toothache can be a major life disruption, but it isn’t always clear what you should do about it. Many people are apprehensive about visiting the dentist and try to simply wait it out. However, that’s rarely the right decision. Here’s why you shouldn’t ignore any persistent toothache.

The term “toothache” covers all different types of tooth pain. In many cases, you can find yourself with a persistent throbbing that varies in intensity. This scenario often indicates an underlying dental issue.

Sharp pain when biting down, chewing, or even without apparent cause is also a serious concern. You could also experience swelling around the gums or pain in your jaw, both of which are reasons to see the dentist.

You might also notice increased sensitivity to hot and cold food or drink or pain that comes and goes. These might not be as urgent, but you should still bring them up to your dentist.

Whatever you do, you should never think it’s just a toothache. While not all tooth pain is an emergency, your teeth don’t hurt for no reason. It can be tempting to avoid dental visits due to your busy schedule, but this isn’t a wise decision. Trying to wait out toothaches with pain medication or home remedies can also backfire.

Others might want to avoid a visit due to dental anxiety. They might have serious fears about visiting the dentist based on bad prior experiences. These feelings are completely understandable. However, it’s imperative to see the dentist so problems cannot worsen and require more-involved treatment.

1. You could need immediate treatment.

If you’re having tooth pain, then you could need immediate treatment. Severe tooth pain could be due to an abscessed tooth—a significant infection where a pocket of pus forms around the root. You’ll need treatment as soon as possible to prevent further spread. Acting fast gives you the best chance of saving the tooth.

Cavities are another major cause of toothaches. As the outer layers of your tooth decay, the sensitive inner layers are exposed. Left untreated long enough, this allows bacteria to reach the pulp inside your tooth, leading to infection and the need for a root canal.

2. You can prevent long-term issues.

Some causes of tooth pain aren’t significant issues at the moment but will surely progress to something more serious if left untreated.

You could be experiencing sensitivity due to gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Finding out if you have gingivitis can allow you to act before it progresses to further stages that lead to more serious symptoms and even tooth loss.

A crack in the crown (chewing surface) of your tooth may be hard to notice but can cause consistent pain. Leaving the crack unrepaired can cause it to widen and allow bacteria into the tooth.

There are also rarer causes that are better discovered sooner rather than later. Various types of injuries, ulcers, and oral cancer present a serious threat and can cause tooth pain. Your dentist can identify these rarer causes and develop a treatment plan.

3. You can get back to living life pain-free.

Another key reason not to ignore your toothache is that receiving treatment relieves the source of pain. Putting up with a toothache is a major burden, impacting how you act at work and with your family. Severe toothaches make it difficult to eat and even to sleep, seriously impacting your quality of life.

By visiting your dentist, you can get effective treatment. You might need either immediate treatment or a treatment plan, but in either case, your dentist will help you finally find relief. They can also offer advice for relieving pain and treating symptoms in the short term if they can’t resolve your toothache immediately.

Is it time to see a dentist?

It can be difficult to tell when exactly is the right time to see a Newport Beach dentist to treat your tooth pain, but it’s best to err on the side of caution. If you have a toothache that lasts for 48 hours or more, you should see a dentist. For throbbing, severe tooth pain, you should go even sooner.

If you’re experiencing an ongoing toothache or other dental emergency, visit Luminous Smiles for top-quality, compassionate care. We’ll determine the cause of your tooth pain and provide a comprehensive range of treatment options. Contact us today for the soonest possible appointment with your Newport Beach dentist.