Unfortunately, there is a long list of factors that might cause your teeth to hurt. Sometimes a toothache is the result of poor oral hygiene or bad brushing habits. Other times however, that pain in your smile could indicate a serious issue that needs to be treated right away. Read on as your Colorado Springs dentist explains which toothaches can wait to be treated until your next appointment and which ones require urgent emergency dentistry.
Non-Urgent Dental Pain
No matter what type of toothache you are experiencing, you should see your dentist right away. However, some types of tooth pain can wait a few days or until your next appointment for treatment, including ones that feel like:
- Flashes of tooth sensitivity: Eating a highly acidic diet or chewing on hard objects can soften your enamel. This may cause you to feel flashes of tooth sensitivity after eating or drinking hot or cold items.
- Quick moments of tooth pain: Cavities, broken fillings, or a crack in your enamel can expose the sensitive inner layers of your teeth, which may sporadically feel painful. While this issue needs to be addressed soon, it’s not considered an emergency.
- A constant, dull ache in the teeth or gums: Unmanaged stress may cause you to grind your teeth in your sleep. This may lead to a dull ache in your mouth, constant headaches, jaw soreness, and fractured teeth over time.
- A pain in the back of your jaw: This uncommon type of toothache could be the result of an impacted wisdom tooth trapped within your jaw or pressing against nearby teeth.
Symptoms of a Dental Emergency
Sometimes, a toothache may indicate a serious underlying issue that requires urgent dental care. Call your dentist immediately if your tooth pain is accompanied by symptoms like:
- Inflamed, bleeding gums: Gum tissue that is tender, bright red, or bleeding may have a serious bacterial infection. This is known as gum disease, which can lead to permanent jawbone damage, tooth loss, and an increased risk of heart disease if not treated right away.
- Loose teeth that are painful to chew with: If pus and bacteria build up around the roots of a tooth, the connective tissues that hold it in place may be destroyed. You need to see your dentist right away to stabilize the tooth and prevent the infection from spreading.
- Fever, fatigue, or swelling in the face, jaw, or neck: These are common reactions to a serious oral infection that can potentially spread throughout your body and become life-threatening. Seek urgent care from your dentist to eliminate the dangerous bacteria. If you have difficulty breathing or swallowing, go to your local ER instead.
Thankfully, most toothaches are not dental emergencies. Regardless, any discomfort in your mouth should be seen by your dentist right away so you can get back to enjoying your happy, healthy smile!
About the Author
Dr. Kenneth Gasper of Aesthetic Dentistry by Design in Colorado Springs, CO has been practicing world-class dentistry since 1982. Patient comfort is his number one priority, which is why he offers spa-like amenities alongside state-of-the-art dental treatments. If you find yourself in a dental emergency, he does everything he can to see you within hours of calling our office and uses the most advanced dental technology for faster pain relief. If you’re concerned about your toothache, don’t hesitate to contact him via his website or at (719) 599-0700.