Your tooth hurts: should you see the dentist? Find out the most common causes of toothache plus when to see your dentist.
1. Teeth grinding or clenching
If you grind or clench your teeth, you will experience pain and tenderness. People tend to clench their teeth more often when they are stressed; they may not be aware of it. Other people grind their teeth at night and are similarly unaware. If you are grinding your teeth, and you can stop by softening your jaw when you feel tension, the pain may resolve on its own.
2. Tooth decay or cavity
The most frequent reason people complain of toothaches is cavities or tooth decay. Teeth decay when bacteria penetrate the enamel. You might see this as white or brown spots on your teeth. Keeping your regular dental appointments is the best way to prevent tooth decay by catching it in advance and removing plaque from the teeth before it penetrates your enamel.
3. Tooth abscess
A damaged tooth has the potential to become abscessed if it is not treated, because the substance that is inside your tooth dies, leading to pus and bacteria. For your oral health, it is important to treat an abscess.
4. Tooth fracture
Your tooth might become damaged if you bite on something hard, like ice, or are hit in the face. When a tooth fractures, many people feel pain. It’s important to treat a fractured tooth because bacteria can get inside the fracture and cause more pain.
5. Infected gums
Gingivitis, or infection of the gums, is the biggest cause of tooth loss among adults. Gum disease causes toothaches when bacteria build up around the gum line. If not treated, gum diseases can loosen teeth, so they fall out. Given the severity of gum disease, it is critical to see a dentist, so you can treat the underlying cause before it progresses.
When to See Your Dentist
If you are confident that your tooth pain is from grinding, you may not need to see your dentist so long as the pain resolves on its own within a day. If you are unsure of the cause of your toothache, or experience pain for longer than one day, it is important to see your dentist.
Anytime you experience pain or sensation when biting or chewing, you should make an appointment with the dentist. These symptoms will not resolve on your own.
Tooth infections can spread to other parts of the body. If you experience symptoms like swelling, inflammation, and fever, it’s important to have everything checked out by a dentist.
If your teeth break or fall out, the best place to go is the emergency room rather than the dentist, as they will be able to accommodate you immediately.
Make an Appointment for Dental Care
We are here for you whether you need toothache treatment or would like to schedule your next dental cleaning. Reserve your next appointment by calling us at 813-501-6864.