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Clarkson Dental Group
1748 Clarkson Rd, Chesterfield, MO 63017

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore a Toothache

June 7, 2021
Posted By: Clarkson Dental Group
Patient experiencing tooth pain

The importance of Treatment

Minor cracks or chips on either your natural tooth or restorations (fillings, crowns, inlays, or onlays) can allow bacteria to enter the fragile inner core of the tooth where it does not belong.  This now exposed porous tooth structure allows the bacteria to cause damage to the tooth in the form of a cavity and infection.  Timely treatment of the damaged tooth helps improve your overall dental and systemic health.  Early treatment for your condition is advised to mitigate potential tooth loss, pain, swelling, and/or to prevent further tooth damage. 

What if I Don’t Seek Treatment for My Toothache?

Aching, throbbing tooth pain will not disappear and will eventually progress to becoming a much larger problem requiring a longer and more costly dental treatment.  A toothache is a result of the nerve inside the tooth becoming irritated or unhappy in a nonreversible manner.  If untreated, this will progress to an abscess or an infection.  This infection can build up and later flare up to an even more severe and painful presentation.   The associated swelling can be so severe we can see facial swelling and unsafe health outcomes as a result of not acquiring the appropriate dental care.  

What Do I Do If my Toothache Went Away?

If you had a toothache that disappeared or recurs every now and then, we suggest you get checked out to ensure there is no chronic infection.  When a tooth root dies, the pain may resolve temporarily, but the harmful infection will still present a lot of harm to your health.  Infections that are left untreated can make fixing the tooth more problematic.  In addition, the infection that is associated with your teeth or gums has been shown to affect your overall health systemically.  The bodily structures that a tooth infection can damage include your heart, lungs, brain, and other bodily organs.  Timely care for all toothaches is always advised.  

When Does Ignoring My Toothache Become a Real Medical Emergency

When a dental infection is left untreated, the infections can spread to the head, neck, and other areas of your body.  This infection can travel and damage the heart lining, heart valves, and blood vessels.  This is commonly known as Bacterial Endocarditis and is a life-threatening event.  If you have difficulty swallowing or breathing, this is commonly known as Ludwig’s Angina- a severe condition that limits the functioning of the airway.  Individuals with weakened immune systems are especially suspectable to increased health complications as the result of an untreated tooth infection.  Infection can spread to the bloodstream and result in severe medical complications and death.  

How to Avoid Potential Toothaches

Being proactive with your daily dental care and routine dental check-up with your dental office is the best way to prevent potential tooth pain.  Your regular dental visits will allow your dentist to check for problem areas and inform you of any potential dental concerns such as a cracked tooth or filling, a loose crown or filling, cavity or decay, tooth, and/or gum infection.  Although consistent comprehensive dental care can help avoid potential tooth problems, we understand that unforeseen and emergent dental care arises.  If you are dealing with a tooth problem, we are here to help.  

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