If your tooth is hurting, you probably take a pain reliever you bought at the store then forget about it if the pain goes away. Is this the right approach? Is a toothache a dental emergency?

Some things in life can be forgotten about once they’ve come and gone, but others require investigation. Keep reading to find out how you should approach tooth pain.

Why Am I Feeling Tooth Pain?

The human body has a complex network of neurons and cells, better known as the nervous system, that constantly transmits information. It tells your muscles to move and relays messages to your brain that serve as warnings. Triggering a pain response is one way to warn you. Usually, pain arises to let you know there is a problem requiring your attention.

What Should I Do About Tooth Pain?

There are levels of tooth pain, which tends to cause some people to disregard it unless the pain is severe. Tooth pain is telling you something is wrong, so the worst thing you can do is ignore it.

To be safe, call your dentist and provide as many details as possible about the toothache. They will likely schedule an appointment for you as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can manage your tooth pain by:

  • Holding a cold compress to your cheek for 10 minutes at a time. This can address swelling, as well as pain.
  • Taking a pain reliever as directed on the label. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are usually the best options for toothaches.
  • Rinsing your mouth out with salt water to minimize the risk of bacterial infection.
  • Flossing around the area carefully to ensure you don’t have a food particle trapped between your teeth.

What Could Happen If I Ignore a Toothache?

Tooth pain is usually the result of infection or decay in the sensitive inner layers of a tooth. Unlike most other parts of the body, teeth cannot heal themselves when infected or damaged. Because of that, your toothache won’t go away if you ignore it. Delaying treatment might cause the infection to spread to your surrounding teeth, gums, or jaw. If the infection reaches your bloodstream, it could trigger systemic illness.

A toothache isn’t always a dental emergency, but it’s a situation of better safe than sorry because of the potential consequences of an untreated infection. You should visit your emergency dentist as soon as you can after a toothache strikes since they can offer pain relief and make sure you won’t face long-term issues.

About the Practice

At Oyler Family Dentistry, you are our top priority. We offer a team of experienced dental professionals who have your best interests at heart. There won’t be any pressure to get procedures you don’t want or need, and no matter the service you seek we will make sure you are comfortable. If you have a toothache or recently dealt with one, you should have an examination. We offer same-day appointments and accept dental insurance. For more information, visit our website or call (812) 221-1014.

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