Why Does a Toothache Require Immediate Attention?

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Pain of any sort can hijack your life, but the pain that comes with a toothache is often in a league of its own. If the pain isn’t enough to prompt you to seek help right away, perhaps a quick look at what could be causing your toothache will.

More often than not, tooth pain is a symptom of something more serious. The earlier we can step in, the better we can preserve your dental health — saving you from more pain down the road.

If your tooth begins to ache, the odds are good that there’s an underlying cause that won’t simply go away on its own. Simply put, toothaches need immediate attention.

Here’s a look at what might be causing your toothache and how we can help.

Why does a toothache hurt so much?

Before we get into the possible causes of your toothache, let’s take a quick look at why the pain can be so severe.

To start, the nerves in your teeth and gums are especially sensitive, which is made abundantly clear when tooth pain strikes.

And if you have swelling inside your tooth, there’s really no give in this area, which means even the slightest inflammation can cause considerable pain.

These conditions, when they come together, can make for a very miserable experience.

What’s causing my toothache?

The throbbing pain from your toothache could be caused by a number of different issues, but all of them merit a trip to the dentist asap. Here are five common reasons you could be in pain.

A matter of decay

There are many reasons why a toothache may develop, but tooth decay leads the charge. Every mouth is filled with opportunistic, harmful bacteria that feed hungrily on whatever they can.

While daily dental care does a great job at keeping these bacteria at bay, some may breech your defenses and work their way into your teeth, where they initiate tooth decay. And once inside, these bacteria won’t stop until we step in.

It’s in the gums

Another leading cause of toothaches is gum disease. Here again, bacteria are the culprits as they work their way under your gums and wreak havoc on your soft tissue.

In the more advanced stages of gum disease, your gums begin to pull away from your teeth, allowing bacteria to invade both your teeth and gums.

With early intervention, we can stop gum disease in its tracks. In fact, sometimes all it takes is a deep cleaning.

When infection sets in

One of the more painful toothaches that you can experience can come from an abscess in your tooth. This happens when bacteria get inside your teeth and cause an infection.

As your body attempts to fight off the infection, your tissue swells, irritating the sensitive nerves inside your teeth.

Wisdom teeth

Another common cause of toothache is having a wisdom tooth that’s erupting poorly. Your wisdom teeth come in late, often in your late teens and early 20s, and if they come in at an angle, or they’re blocked by your existing teeth, they can become impacted, which causes pain.

Injury to your tooth

Rounding out the leading causes of toothaches are injuries that loosen, crack, or knock out your tooth. The good news is that if you come in immediately, we can quickly remedy the trauma to your tooth and prevent infection-causing bacteria from getting inside.

The same goes for any dental work that may come loose, like fillings. If you’re experiencing pain in a tooth that has had previous dental work, it may be that your filling has come loose, which we can easily fix.

The bottom line is that a toothache is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. By seeking immediate attention, you not only find relief, but you can also prevent far more major, and painful, problems down the line.

At Volterra Dental, we want our patients to have the tools they need to address every dental issue, whether it’s routine cleanings or emergency dental care.

If you have a toothache, please give us a call at (562) 501-3188 and we’ll make every effort to see you on the same day at our office in Los Alamitos, California.