Toothache Dilemma: Reasons to go to the Dentist?

Dealing with a toothache

A bad toothache can be one of the worst type of pains you can experience. The pain can radiate to your jaw, head and ears, affecting your entire body. The pain may subside momentarily with painkillers, but is bound to return soon afterwards. Unfortunately, bad toothaches typically last for several days before going away and often times comes back again if left untreated. So is there no choice but to go to the dentist to fix your problem? Or is it worth taking painkillers or other medicine to see if the pain subsides on its own?

What dental conditions can cause severe pain?

The worse type of pain you can experience in your mouth typically comes from the teeth themselves. Here are some of the most common causes of oral pain which you may be dealing with:

Wisdom toothache

Wisdom tooth pain usually is located all the way to the back of the mouth where the wisdom teeth are. Most of the times the pain is in the lower jaw, radiating to your ears, although other times it may be in your upper jaws causing you a headache. The pain usually starts during late teens and continues into your twenties and thirties. This type of pain typically lasts for up to ten days and then goes away temporarily. However, if the wisdom tooth are not removed, the pain usually returns several months later. Most of these cases require the removal of the wisdom tooth although occasionally you may have enough room for the wisdom teeth and can opt to keep the teeth and manage the pain with medications in the meantime.

Abscessed teeth

Pain from an infected tooth can occur at any age and appear on any tooth. An untreated cavity progresses and eventually enters the tooth nerve. Once this happens, the tooth is now infected and starts to hurt. This type of pain is severe, lingering and throbbing and typically lasts for several days or until treated. The pain may subside temporary, but since the infected tooth is still in the mouth the infection remains and pain will come back. Both baby teeth and adult teeth can both cause severe pain when the tooth nerve becomes infected.

Infected gums

Occasionally you may start to feel pain everywhere in the mouth rather than in one specific region. The cause of generalized pain may be due to gum issues which affects your entire mouth causing teeth to become sensitive and painful. To treat pain coming from infected gums you need a professional dental cleaning. Only a dental cleaning can remove hardened plaque and tartar from your teeth. Using a brush, floss and other hygiene devices can not remove this buildup and does not return your gums back to a healthy state.

Localized sores and lesions

Canker sores, burns and other trauma can sometimes cause pain in the mouth region as well. If these lesions go away after a few days then you do not need to worry yourself about them. However, if the lesion persists, then it needs to be evaluated by your dentist to make sure that they are nothing serious. Your dentist can diagnose these problems to determine what they are and what course of treatment is required.

Advantages of going to the dentist to treat your toothache

When it comes to toothache, antibiotics and pain killers may help relieve the pain temporarily, but so long as the offending tooth is still in the mouth, pain killers only mask the symptoms and won’t actually resolve the problem. Going to the dentist seems like the logical thing to do in most cases. Here is why:

Toothaches never resolve themselves on their own

If you suffer from a headache or cold you can take some medicine or just deal with it and the pain will resolve on its own and go away for good. Unfortunately when it comes to toothaches, the pain will not resolve until the tooth responsible for the pain is addressed. Toothaches always keep returning until the source of the actual source of the pain, which is typically a bad tooth, has been addressed.

Less costly long-term solution

We all know that fixing teeth could be quite costly, but this is no reason to avoid your dentist, especially if you are suffering from a toothache. Going to the hospital emergency room for a toothache, only to be sent home with some antibiotics and painkillers and without any actual treatment, is something that could be avoided by going to your dentist on time. What happens to be a dental filling today will become a root canal next year and a dental implant the following year. Basically, if you ignore your teeth, your treatment keeps becoming more and more costly as time passes.

Preventing the infection from spreading to your other teeth or gums

Tooth infections can gradually spread form one bad tooth to other regions. Here is how infections spread in the mouth:

  • A cavity on one tooth can trap food and bacteria and gradually create a cavity on the adjacent tooth
  • An impacted wisdom tooth can apply pressure to its neighboring tooth and create a cavity on the adjacent tooth. In fact, in some instances you could end up losing two teeth, both the wisdom and neighboring tooth, as the result of having not removed the one bad wisdom tooth to begin with.
  • In some cases you may no longer be able to properly clean an infected area of the mouth because of a painful tooth. This slowly triggers localized gum disease within the region and compromises the health of multiple teeth. In some worse case scenarios, you could end up losing several teeth instead of just the one bad tooth due to widespread gum infection within the region.

Holding onto an infected tooth makes no sense. If you can’t afford to save your tooth, you are better off removing it rather than holding on to it and allowing the infection to spread to other healthy teeth and your gums.

NEXT >> Should I Wait?

Toothache Dilemma: How to Decide?

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