Your tooth has been bothering you for three days now. It doesn’t hurt all that much; in fact, you can ignore it if you’re not thinking about it. Chewing can be annoying, but it’s not unbearable or anything. And anyway, you’re pretty busy this week; surely there’s no need to go out of your way to rush to the dentist over something so minor, right? It may be tempting to ignore a toothache, but don’t be too quick to dismiss it. In many cases, seeing your dentist in Orange Park about your toothache could be vital; in fact, it could mean the difference between keeping your complete smile and losing a part of it.
What Could a Toothache Mean?
Toothaches can have many different causes. Obviously, cavities are a common cause of tooth pain, and in such cases you may need to see a dentist about having your tooth filled as soon as possible. Alternatively, it’s possible that your tooth may be cracked, or there may be an abscess (a pocket of pus) around the root of the tooth; both of these situations can easily lead to tooth loss and need to be addressed as quickly as possible. You may also feel tooth pain from getting hit in the mouth, though treatment largely depends on the level of damage inflicted.
Sometimes, a toothache can be a sign of a larger problem. Gum disease—inflammation of the gum—can naturally cause toothaches along with other oral problems. In some cases, tooth pain may be a sign of TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder, which is a problem with the joint connecting the jaw to the head.
Sometimes the cause isn’t even in your mouth. Because the roots of the upper teeth and jawbone are near your sinuses, allergies or sinus infections can cause tooth pain.
When is a Toothache Serious?
In general, a lingering toothache is cause for concern. If the pain lasts longer than one or two days, or if it’s particularly severe, you need to take action. You should also be concerned if tooth pain occurs alongside fever or chills, or if you have an earache or pain when opening your mouth.
What Should I Do if My Tooth Hurts?
You’ll definitely need to see your dentist for lingering or severe tooth pain. Keep track of your symptoms and make sure you describe them as accurately as possible. They can treat your tooth depending on the cause of your pain. Painkillers or cold compresses can lessen the discomfort in the meantime.
Remember that many sources of tooth pain can become worse over time if not treated quickly. If you have any doubts about your teeth, schedule an appointment with your dentist to address any concerns. Your smile is worth the vigilance.
About the Author
Dr. Natasha Patel has been a dentist for many years and strives to give all of her patients the best quality treatment. She’s experienced in root canal therapy, fillings, dental bridges, and other treatments for damaged teeth. For more information about her practice, Kind Care Dentistry, visit their website or call at (904) 278-9011.