When Should You See a Dentist for Tooth Pain?
At Lifetime Family Dental in Gilbert, we believe that tooth pain should never be taken lightly. Tooth pain can range from uncomfortable to incapacitating, and can get worse in a matter of hours. It can distract you from your everyday duties and make simple tasks, such as eating and sleeping, impossible. But how do you know if your pain is significant enough to consult a dentist? If you’re experiencing tooth pain of any severity, consider the information below.
Types of Tooth Pain
If you’ve ever been to a dentist (or even a doctor) before, you may have been asked to “describe the pain.” Although individual descriptions of pain may vary from patient to patient, describing how it feels is helpful in identifying the problem.
Pay attention to the messages the pain is sending you. Think of words like dull, sharp, stabbing, throbbing, etc. so you can describe what you’re feeling to your dentist.
Causes for Tooth Pain
A number of issues in your mouth are likely to cause pain, including:
- Cavities, or dental caries, are tiny holes in your teeth that have been eaten away by plaque. They can cause considerable pain, especially when left untreated.
- An abscessed tooth is infected from the inside and out. The pulp, or inner layer of the tooth, becomes inflamed and the tissue can die. Abscessed teeth have a reputation for being extremely painful.
- Impacted wisdom teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth don’t have enough room to grow and develop properly, and can be very painful. The younger you are, the less painful this will be, which is why it’s important to talk to your dentist about having them removed sooner rather than later.
- A chipped tooth. Did you recently experience an accident or event in which a tooth may have been chipped? It’s possible that the chip isn’t immediately visible, or didn’t start to hurt right away. Your dentist can identify small chips or cracks that may be causing you pain.
- Bruxism. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, may seem harmless. After all, many people grind their teeth or clench their jaws without realizing it. However, it can cause a host of oral health problems, including toothaches.
- Gum disease. Consider that it may not your teeth that are causing the pain, but your gums. Gingivitis is an extremely common problem for American adults, and shouldn’t be ruled out if you’re in pain.
Treatment for Tooth Pain
If you believe you’re experiencing any of the above issues and can’t see a dentist right away, don’t worry. Here are a few at-home remedies for tooth pain you can try before your appointment.
- Ice. Wrap an ice pack in a cloth and let it rest on the outside of your cheek over the affected area.
- Reflexology. Rub some ice between your thumb and index finger on the same side as the affected area of your mouth. These areas have been shown to correspond with one another in reflexology studies.
- Anti-inflammatories, such as Ibuprofen, are okay in small doses before you see your dentist.
Should I See a Dentist or Not?
As stated earlier, tooth pain can be the sign of something serious. You may be wondering if the pain is too minimal to consult your dentist. Unlike headaches or stomach aches, which can be occasional, toothaches are almost always recurrent or even incessant. Therefore, if you have a toothache, it’s not likely to fade until you get to the bottom of it.
We understand that you may be apprehensive about going to the dentist, either because you’re busy or because you have anxiety. Dental health is just as important as full-body health. In fact, it’s a key part in the health of your whole body. If you’re feeling anxious to address your toothache, rest assured that we are a compassionate family practice. Each member of our team has years of experience making dental health easy and comfortable for you.
Family Dental Group in Gilbert
Prevention is always the best medicine. Keep up your daily brushing and flossing, and never miss your appointments here at Lifetime Family Dental. But if you do happen to experience dental pain, no matter how insignificant it may seem, give us a call. We’ll help you identify the problem and feel better in no time.