April 11, 2021
When a toothache strikes, it’s usually the sign of advanced decay that has traveled to the sensitive inner area of the tooth. This requires emergency care from a dentist to stop the infection, alleviate the pain and restore the tooth’s health. On some occasions, the tooth pain will seem to stop on its own. What does that mean? Should you assume that the problem is solved? Continue reading to get the answer.
What It Means When a Toothache Goes Away
The intense pain that a toothache causes is your body’s way of warning you that there is a serious infection that needs to be treated. Unfortunately, once the problem arises, it doesn’t magically disappear on its own.
The following explains how tooth pain starts and can suddenly subside:
- Tooth decay travels to the sensitive inner area (the pulp) where the nerves are housed.
- The infection attacks the nerves, which triggers the intense pain that is felt.
- If not addressed, the infection eventually destroys the nerves, causing the pain to subside.
- The infection can travel to the jawbone, triggering new pain.
- There can be damage to the jawbone that can lead to tooth loss.
- Over time, the infection can travel to other parts of the body.
The above scenarios reiterate the fact that a toothache should never be ignored, and the importance of seeking professional care.
How to Effectively Respond to Tooth Pain
The moment you experience a toothache, you should immediately reach out to a dentist to schedule an emergency visit. Therefore, you can be examined to determine what the cause of your pain is and to receive the restorative care you need. Not only does taking swift action alleviate your discomfort; it also helps you avoid complex problems that require more time and financial resources.
The Typical Way Dentists Treat a Toothache
If the tooth is still salvageable, dentists will usually perform a root canal procedure. It involves removing the infected material, cleaning and filling the vacated area with a compound called gutta percha and sealing the tooth. The final step is for the dentist to place a new crown atop the tooth to fully restore it.
Once you’re back in action, the best way to avoid an infection in the future is to practice excellent oral hygiene, which should include brushing and flossing at least two times a day. You’ll also want to make it a habit to visit the dentist every four to six months to maintain a state of wellness and to identify any new problems in the earlier stages. The result will be a pain-free and happier life!
About the Author
Dr. Patrick Crowley earned his dental degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry. To stay abreast of the latest dental techniques for treating complex issues, he takes several hours of continuing education annually. Dr. Crowley provides emergency dental care at Bluff Creek Dental, and he can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through his website.
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