Toothache: just because it doesn’t hurt doesn’t mean it’s okay
Many people succumb to the myth of ‘if it doesn’t hurt, it’s ok’. However, many dental problems in their early stages do not hurt. And when they do suddenly cause pain, it could be a much bigger problem. I use the analogy of cancers of the body – it may not hurt early on but when it starts to hurt, it may have already spread beyond and could be difficult to fix.
In fact, if somebody has a toothache, after a period of time, it could also actually stop hurting. But don’t be fooled. Just because a toothache stops hurting doesn’t mean it’s the end of the problem.
What is happening when your tooth hurts?
Teeth pain is a complex topic and beyond the scope of this blog.
But briefly, toothaches can include occasional sensitivity to hot or cold to throbbing pain to dull constant aches . Toothaches can also change in nature; they can be sharp and sudden one moment, they can become dull and chronic the next. Sometimes, head and neck strains could also be referring to teeth pain. It is important that these issues are dealt with early.
Your dentists are trained in diagnosing the cause of your painand provide you with management solutions.
What happens if you ignore your toothache?
As dentists, our job is to educate our clients. So, our first task is to make you aware of any potential issues that could arise if left. For example, although you are not in significant pain, if you have a cracked tooth, at some point it’s going to hurt or it’s going to break. In this situation, treatment could be a lot more invasive and expensive.
In other situations, a toothache may actually be an indication of a much larger problem, for example, a bacterial infection.
In some cases, the infection causes swelling, and this could end up being a medical emergency because if it tracks down the throat it can cause breathing issues. So, it’s important that aching teeth actually get looked at sooner rather than later.
One of the best pieces of advice I can give is that while many people believe dentistry is expensive, it’s not. Neglect is.
When you neglect your teeth and ignore the pain or lack thereof, problems build, and so do the bills.
Disclaimer: Results may vary between individuals. Any dental procedure carries risks and benefits. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified practitioner.