It doesn’t seem that a little toothache could ever turn into a major medical issue, but pain is designed to get your attention. If you are experiencing tooth pain, don’t ignore it. Whether you have mild discomfort while chewing, or are sensitive to cold or hot foods, it’s worth looking into.
Many Americans have been hospitalized with dental abscesses, which are about as fun as they sound. Experts have speculated that higher health insurance costs have been preventing people from seeking the dental care they need or even seeing the doctor for their tooth pain.
Cracks in your enamel can leave a gap for bacteria to enter. These can be caused by a chipped tooth, chronic tooth decay, or even gum disease. The health of your mouth is actually a good way to look at the health of the rest of your body, since it is all connected. If bacteria can get inside your tooth, you’re at risk for an abscess. Other symptoms to keep an eye out for include consistent bad breath, a fever, swollen jaw or neck glands, or even a swollen face. If you are experiencing tooth pain, don’t wait until it gets worse. Instead, seek medical attention right away.
There are numerous other causes for tooth pain besides an abscess. You may have tooth decay, which is very common. Gum disease can cause pain in your mouth. A cracked tooth can be painful, either from the impact of the crack or from subsequent infection. Your wisdom teeth can become impacted and cause you pain. Your teeth may even be in a pattern of growth and slowly shifting, which can hurt. Some people have too many teeth or not enough room in their mouth. Crowded teeth can become painful as they push against each other.
You may be suffering from TMJ, which is an acute inflammation of your jaw. It may be something seemingly unrelated, like sinus problems. Tooth pain can be caused by other issues in the mouth, jaw, or face. If you are older or have other health problems, it’s especially important to consider tooth pain because it is listed as a symptom of heart disease or an impending heart attack. Most times, tooth pain just needs a quick trip to the dentist. But you should never ignore tooth pain just in case it is something more serious.
Tooth pain, if caught early, doesn’t always need to end in drastic measures like a root canal or extraction. Talk to your dentist as soon as possible if you have mild discomfort on a daily basis or even periodically. If it’s not an abscess, treatment may be common, over the counter pain medication or it may take a simple dental procedure like a filling to fix the issue.
If you’re concerned about the financial cost of your dental care, call our office to discuss our many financial options.