A toothache can mean a lot of different things. Maybe you’re very sensitive to hot or cold foods. Or maybe it’s painful to chew or bite down on food. Maybe it’s the kind of dull, aching pain that’s never quite mild enough to ignore. Or maybe there’s nothing “dull” about it.
Different kinds of toothaches have different sources and usually mean different tooth problems. The only thing all types of tooth pain have in common is that you should have your dentist address them ASAP. Here are our four best reasons why you shouldn’t wait another day to schedule an appointment:
It only gets worse
As a general rule, if you go to sleep with tooth pain and it’s still there the next morning, it’s not going away. As another general rule, if even minor tooth pain isn’t going away, it’s not going to stay minor for long. Remember: tooth pain is usually an indication of an underlying tooth or mouth problem. The longer the underlying problem persists, the worse it will get. The worse the underlying problem is, the worse the pain will usually be.
If you feel pain in a specific tooth, you may have a cavity. Temperature sensitivity could be a sign of a cavity or a more serious problem involving the nerve. It’s also possible that an infection in your gums is the source of your pain. No matter what pain you have, the only way to relieve it is by treating its source. That’s just as true for toothaches as it is for everything else. Scheduling an dental appointment is the best way to get lasting relief fast.
Prevent serious problems
It’s hard to believe, but toothaches can sometimes be blessings in disguise. Like every other kind of pain, toothaches are supposed to signal that something’s wrong. They’re the canary in the coalmine, telling you if something needs looking into. So don’t ignore it! Dealing with your toothache early can help you avoid some really gnarly–and potentially expensive–future problems.
What kind of problems? Well, take cavities, for example. A cavity happens when the toxins in built-up tartar eat away at the enamel of a tooth. That tartar doesn’t disappear after it creates a cavity, however. If you leave cavities and the pain associated with them alone, that decay reaches deeper down into your teeth. If an infection reaches the roots of your tooth, you’ll be dealing with a serious problem–root canal serious. The relatively minor problems creating your tooth pain now could lead to gum disease or other big problems, too. Whatever the cause, the advice is the same: seek dental care now, or regret it later.
Fix it while the fixing’s faster
Getting your toothache addressed early isn’t just the right call for your long term oral health. It’s the right call for your immediate quality of life, too. Toothaches aren’t just annoying; they can be debilitating. Have you ever tried to work with a really bad headache? Now imagine that, but the headache keeps getting worse every day. Pretty soon, it’d be all you could think about, right? That’s what having a bad toothache can feel like.
Luckily, most toothaches can be addressed by your dentist quickly and effectively… at least early on. The longer you wait, however, the more likely the chance that the cause of your pain turns into something serious. Serious tooth problems, like gum or root infections, aren’t so easily dealt with. Not only do more serious problems require more extensive procedures, they also take more time and money. You don’t want to spend a lot of time and money on a major dental procedure. And you really don’t want to have to wait days or weeks to treat your pain.
Identify underlying problems
The nicest thing about consulting with a dentist about your toothache? They’ll be able to tell you if you have anything else to worry about while you’re there. During your checkup, your dentist will work to find the source of your pain and figure out why it’s hurting you. By figuring out where the pain originated, they’ll be able to help you by fixing the problem.
Sometimes, your dentist may even find something they weren’t looking for! For instance, you could have a small cavity in one tooth, but the beginnings of gingivitis somewhere else. You couldn’t have known about the gingivitis unless you saw your dentist about your toothache. Now, not only is your pain gone, but you can treat gingivitis before it gets any worse. Sure beats the alternatives!
Think of it this way: if your toothache doesn’t go away after a few days, you’ll have to get it checked eventually. The sooner you do that, the better. Addressing tooth pain early is easier, less costly, and more effective than waiting for disaster. You don’t want to wait when it comes to your mouth–you need to use it every day.
Next time you have weird tooth or mouth pain, don’t hesitate to give ImmediaDent a call. Our flexible scheduling and emergency hours make us the perfect dental practice. Address your toothaches now, so you don’t have to worry about them later.