Are you experiencing an extremely painful toothache? Although it might be uncomfortable, it shouldn’t be fatal, right? While a typical ache shouldn’t kill you, it’s important to remember that underlying problems causing your discomfort can be dangerous if left unchecked, like a tooth infection. Read on to learn what can happen with this condition and what you should do to keep yourself safe.
What Causes a Toothache?
There are various reasons you can end up with a toothache, including:
- Wisdom teeth – Having impacted wisdom teeth, meaning they’re pushing against your other molars, can cause discomfort.
- Cracked tooth – This may occur after taking a blow to the face or mouth and can result in pain. Some cracks are so small or thin that you might not be able to see them.
- Decay or cavities – A cavity is one of the most common causes of a toothache, as harmful bacteria has likely entered where it shouldn’t be.
- Gum disease – When your gums are inflamed, this can create pockets where bacteria can get trapped. Leaving this untreated can lead to a toothache.
- Abscess or infection – Either issue can be a result of one of the above problems going unchecked for too long. These conditions can cause severe discomfort and inflammation around the compromised tooth.
Can a Tooth Infection Be Fatal?
While a toothache will not be fatal in the majority of cases, an unchecked oral infection definitely can be given enough time (as in several months or even years) to spread. If you’re experiencing any symptoms that signify an infection or abscess, you’ll want to notify your dentist to schedule an emergency appointment as soon as possible. They can prescribe you antibiotics to help reduce or eliminate the infection. If necessary, they may even perform root canal therapy to remove the infected particles from within your tooth to stop them from spreading throughout your mouth and body.
Tips for Managing a Toothache
As you wait to see your dentist, here are a few things you can do to manage your condition:
- Rinse with lukewarm salt water to disinfect your mouth and minimize any swelling
- Take over-the-counter or prescribed pain relievers as instructed
- Apply an ice pack or cold compress to reduce inflammation and discomfort
- Place several drops of clove oil on the affected tooth until the pain dissipates
Although most toothaches won’t result in a serious condition, leaving any developing problems unchecked can become a cause for concern. If you aren’t sure what to do, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist so that they can provide the relief you need in no time!
About the Author
Dr. Gladston Silva earned his dental doctorate from the NOVA Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale and has over a decade of experience. He’s also a proud member of several organizations such as the American Dental Association and the Florida Dental Society of Anesthesiology. He provides a vast collection of high-quality services, including periodontal therapy and root canal treatment. If you need to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call 386-274-2021.