It’s one of the most agonizing feelings you can experience – a toothache. Not only can it be caused by a wide array of issues but knowing when to seek help from a professional isn’t always easy. From something being stuck between your teeth to an infection that has spread deep within the innermost layer, find out why it’s best to err on the side of caution and let a dentist take care of the problem before it’s too late.
What Causes Tooth Pain?
If you think a sinus infection or something getting lodged between your teeth is the only reason tooth pain can develop, guess again. The most common explanations include cracked teeth, an infection, and cavities. Whether caused by poor oral hygiene or trauma, tooth pain of any kind should never be ignored, and though the remedies used to address some of these issues can be easily handled at home (i.e. dental floss to remove a lodged piece of food between teeth), more serious issues (i.e. an infection) require immediate dental care.
Why It’s Best to Never Ignore a Toothache
If you are the type of person who prefers to wait and see if the pain will subside and eventually go away on its own, you’re doing yourself and your oral health a disservice. The reason is that problems can occur beneath the surface and just because the pain goes away doesn’t mean the damage does.
If an infection or decay remains untreated, it can spread deep within the tooth’s innermost layer and cause the pulp to become inflamed. This increases the severity of the pain and will result in the need for root canal therapy. If the tooth is too damaged and this type of procedure is not enough to save it, the only remaining option is to extract it.
While it may not seem like a big deal to remove a natural tooth from its socket, it’s actually more time-consuming and costly over time because of the frequent replacements and maintenance you will need. Also, you should know that no artificial prosthetic will give you the same quality and functionality as a natural, healthy tooth.
What Treatment is Available for Tooth Pain?
The type of treatment you receive will depend on the reason for your tooth pain. If you have a small cavity, all you will need is a tooth-colored filling. If the decay is too significant, it may be necessary to have a customized dental crown put into place to protect your weakened tooth. Only in instances where an infection occurs and travels to the pulp will you need a root canal or tooth extraction.
Your dentist is your greatest ally in the fight against tooth pain. Waiting to see if it goes away on its own is never a good idea, so don’t tempt fate. Instead, schedule an appointment to see a professional and get the help you need.
About the Author
Dr. Gregory Gell is a trusted endodontist in Concord, NC. As a Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics, he completed his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from The University of Iowa College of Dentistry in 1995 before going to earn a master’s degree in oral biology and a certificate in endodontics from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Dental School in 1998. He and his team at Afton Endodontics are committed to relieving pain, saving decayed and damaged teeth, and improving smiles. No matter if you’re dealing with an uncomfortable toothache or need a root canal, they can take care of the problem and get your back to enjoying your smile. If you think your smile could benefit from Dr. Gell’s expertise, visit our website or call (704) 784-4625.