When Should You See a Dentist for a Toothache?

When Should You See a Dentist for a Toothache?

Toothaches are a common reason people visit their dentist, and while issues like fractured teeth can cause tooth pain, untreated dental decay is the most common cause of toothaches. That’s why it’s vital to see a dentist if you start having a toothache rather than waiting to see if it will go away on its own.

Never ignore persistent tooth pain. At our practice in Statesville and Hickory, North Carolina,

Robert Scott Nance, DDS, and our team of dental specialists encourage our patients to schedule and attend the recommended twice-yearly dental visits.

This gives Dr. Nance and our team the opportunity to detect issues like decay early. Patients who visit the dentist every six months are less likely to have problems like toothaches.

Don’t ignore dental pain

Pain is a cue to listen to your body. Many people adopt a wait-and-see attitude when pain is mild and manageable, but doing so is ill-advised if you have a toothache.

You may think you can wait out the pain today, but that toothache could be a dental emergency tomorrow because tooth pain frequently gets worse quickly.

A tooth issue is different from a wound or strained muscle that your body naturally heals. Without dental care, a toothache usually worsens because your body cannot stop tooth decay or restore damaged enamel.

Complications of untreated dental decay

An infection or abscess that has formed in the tooth root or along the tooth’s side are typical causes of a sudden toothache.

A toothache like this means the infection has already taken hold. Delaying care increases the risk the infection will destroy important structures, eroding the bone supporting your tooth.

Another issue that can arise from an untreated abscess is the infection could enter your bloodstream and contribute to chronic health problems. Bacteria that spread from an infected tooth can cause respiratory problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.

The risks to your tooth and general health are high when you have an abscess, which never heals on its own. Immediate dental care is necessary to save your tooth and stop the infection from spreading.

More severe pain often signals more serious infection

The level of pain you experience is usually a clue the decay has reached sensitive nerves and may have spread into the gum tissue.

Giving decay more time to spread throughout the tooth and gums increases your risk of causing more serious damage. You might have tooth decay, a loose filling, or a cracked tooth if biting down or chewing causes pain. Pain usually indicates that bacteria are causing damage to the nerves and tissues that support the life of your tooth.

This kind of pain can vary in intensity, but the more painful your toothache, the more urgent the need to see a dentist.

Tooth sensitivity is another reason to visit the dentist

When a tooth comes in contact with something hot or cold there may be a brief flash of pain or discomfort, but this isn’t always a serious issue. Some patients merely have teeth that are sensitive. If that’s the case, we can offer treatments right here in our office.

If sensitivity continues or worsens, it’s time to call and arrange an appointment as the sensitivity could be brought on by other issues.

Whether your tooth is throbbing or you’re experiencing mild but persistent tooth pain, come in to see us so our team can evaluate your tooth pain and construct a treatment plan. To schedule a visit with Dr. Nance, call the office nearest you. Our team is ready to assist in relieving your pain.

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