Nagging Toothache? FAQs About Causes, Family Dental Care, And Treatment

Do you have a toothache that just won't go away? If your tooth pain interferes with your ability to talk or chew, gets worse over time, or lingers for longer than you'd like, take a look at what you need to know about daily dental care practices and your treatment. 

How Long Should You Wait To See the Dentist?

There's no reason to wait another day. Your teeth shouldn't hurt. Pain is a sign that something is wrong. While a slight twinge now and then may not signal the need to see your dentist, a lingering pain does. Along with discomfort, a toothache can make it almost impossible to talk, eat, or drink normally. These issues can make communication difficult or put your health at risk. Even though your toothache may not fall under the emergency category, call the dentist's office ASAP for a consult.

When Is A Toothache An Emergency?

Your dental pain has grown past a minor discomfort. Should you seek out emergency dental care? If you have severe pain, a fever, swelling, or a dental injury, you may need to see the dentist immediately. Contact a practice that offers emergency care as soon as your symptoms start. The dentist can evaluate the issue and determine whether you can or can't wait for an appointment.

What Could Cause A Toothache That Won't Go Away?

Tooth decay is a common cause of dental pain. Ninety percent of adults 20-plus have had at least one cavity, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fifty-two percent of six to eight-year-olds have had at least one cavity in their baby teeth and over half of teens have had one or more in their adult/permanent teeth. 

While some dental caries (also known as cavities) have little to no symptoms, others may cause discomfort. The pain or sensitivity of decay won't go away on its own. This means you will need a dentist to treat the cavity. The longer you wait to seek treatment, the more the decay will grow. Over time this could result in a more serious infection of the mouth or jaw bone.

Other possible causes of persistent dental pain include an abscessed tooth, a crack or fracture, chronic grinding, or periodontal (gum) disease. Each of these potential issues requires a dentist's diagnosis and treatment. The dentist will need to examine your mouth and ask questions about other symptoms. Pain with swelling or fever may point to an abscess, noticeable damage is a sign of a fracture, worn chewing surfaces of the back teeth can happen with grinding, and patients with periodontal disease may have swollen, red, or bleeding gums.

For more information, contact a local family dental care office.