While all of us at your local dentist Newport Beach hope you’re not nervous about coming to the dentist, the truth is that, ironically, a lot of people are more uncomfortable about seeking dental care when they’re having pain or when they suspect something’s wrong.  Consequently, they put off coming to the dentist until the pain grows so severe that they can’t ignore it any longer. The problem with this is that often, by delaying, the problem grows larger than it has to and the fix is more uncomfortable, more expensive, or both.  Here’s our take on when you should bring that toothache in (and don’t worry–we’re not going to scold you!).

  1. A Toothache For More Than 3 Days

The vast majority of toothaches are caused by cavities, which are actually a type of bacterial infection.  Bacteria growing on your teeth eat a hole in your tooth, allowing bacteria, pressure, and even bits of food to contact your tooth’s nerve.  This can cause quite severe pain. If untreated, a cavity can become an abscess (see below). If you’ve had a sore tooth for more than about three days, get in to your dentist to have it examined.


  1. Swelling In Your Face Or Jaw Combined With Toothache

When a cavity isn’t treated, bacteria can get into the hole in the tooth and cause an abscess, or a pocket of infection/pus.  Because of the buildup of pus inside a bony area, an abscess is exquisitely painful. Abscesses involve the immune system and need to be treated promptly.  Left alone, they can be dangerous, since the site of infection (your mouth) is so close to your brain.


  1. You Bit Down On Something Hard

If your teeth felt fine until you bit down on a hard seed, a tiny piece of bone, or another hard object, then you might be dealing with a cracked tooth.  Cracked teeth can also be a result of sports injuries. Like a cavity, a cracked tooth exposes the nerve of the tooth and can be quite painful. It’s important to have a cracked tooth examined right away, both for pain control and safety–since pieces of the tooth can become loose and be a choking hazard.  Most dentists will have emergency appointments available if you suspect you’ve cracked a tooth, so call right away.

Pain is an important signal in your mouth, the same way it is in the rest of the body.  The risks of tooth loss, having to take time off from work, and being unable to eat properly are too great to dismiss pain as “just a toothache”.  We don’t want you to live with a sore mouth–if you’re having dental pain, give us a call today and let us help to put it right.



Toothache Pain – www.huffingtonpost.com

When Should I Be Concerned About A Toothache? – www.1dental.com.