6 Reasons to Address Toothache Pain Sooner Rather Than Later


Living with toothache pain one moment longer than necessary may seem like agony. The cost of doing so affects your comfort level, time, and budget. Usually, any problems developing will be discovered in your annual checkup, before they become serious issues. Sadly, for one reason or another, it’s not always possible to have an annual checkup.

Why Address Toothache Pain?

Here are six good reasons why you should contact your dentist when you experience pain.

1. The type of pain can indicate the problem. There are several reasons why you may experience pain. It can result from a severely decayed tooth, tooth sensitivity, root exposure, bruxism, a cracked or damaged tooth. Sometimes the cause may be apparent; at other times, only an exam and diagnostic tools can reveal the pain’s exact origin.

2. Ignoring the pain could lead to severe complications. If you have a cavity that is giving you problems, you may ignore it for a while; but in the meantime, the decay goes deeper into the tooth until it attacks the nerve center. This causes the nerve to die and can result in an abscess at the tooth root’s apex. When this happens, toxins are formed that eat away at the bone. An untreated infection could eat through the bone or enter your bloodstream and cause a life-threatening condition.

3. Letting a dentist examine your tooth when you first feel pain could save it. Many people will feel some sensitivity or twinges from tooth decay before it affects the nerve, allowing the cavity to be filled before the tooth is badly decayed. If the decay has already reached the nerve, root canal therapy may save the tooth from extraction.

4. Root exposure can cause pain. It can also make your tooth more susceptible to decay at and below the gumline. Early detection of this condition is necessary for your dentist to take the steps needed to protect the tooth.

5. Cracked or damaged teeth may be salvageable. You may not be aware that you have a cracked tooth; only the pain and/or sensitivity symptoms indicate a problem. Depending on the extent of the crack, it may be possible to repair the tooth with bonding. It may also require a crown for additional protection. Again, a dental exam is needed to determine the extent of the damage and prevent further damage.

6. Pain saps your energy. No matter how pain tolerant you think you are, you are not at your best when you experience pain. Pain compromises well-being by affecting your mood, your energy, concentration, and more. Addressing toothache pain and eliminating it will make a big difference in your outlook and energy level.

When You Have a Toothache

Do not wait for the pain to subside or go away. Even if it comes and goes, you must see a dentist and find out the cause. Over-the-counter pain relievers may be used until your appointment. You can also use an ice pack to help with intense pain and swelling. Some OTC pain relievers may work wonders for you, but these are not a substitute for getting the dental care you need to eliminate the problem.

When you have toothache pain, call your dentist and schedule an appointment. Describe your pain, especially if it is intense and may need emergency treatment. Please do not ignore the pain; it could mean the loss of a tooth.

Remember,  healthy teeth make a healthy smile!

Dr. Nishan Halim

Nishan Halim, DMD specializes in a comprehensive approach to dental care in his Capitol Hill, Washington DC neighborhood dental center. When treatment plans include specialty work, he coordinates every step with the practitioners you choose from his referral network. Contact Dr. Halim to schedule an appointment.

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