healthcare, dental health and problem concept - unhappy woman suffering from toothache at home

A toothache can range from mild to severe. It can be a sign of something minor, such as trapped food, or something more serious, such as tooth decay or infection. Knowing how to tell if your toothache is serious is important so that you can get the proper treatment and avoid further complications. Let’s take a look at how you can determine if your toothache is something that needs immediate attention.

What Causes Toothaches?
The most common cause of a toothache is dental cavities, which are caused by bacteria in the mouth that create plaque on the teeth. Other causes include gum disease, infection, trauma, misaligned bite, grinding of teeth (bruxism), and exposed nerves due to cracked teeth or fillings.

Common Signs of Infection
Infections are one of the most serious causes of a toothache and should be treated immediately. Signs that your toothache might be caused by an infection include severe pain when eating or drinking hot or cold foods or liquids; swelling of the gums near the affected area; fever; bad breath; and excessive saliva production. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to visit a dentist right away for treatment.

Unexplained Aches in Your Jaw
Another common symptom of a possible dental problem is jaw discomfort or facial swelling along with tooth pain. This could indicate an abscessed tooth—an infection in the tissues around the root—which should be taken seriously and treated as soon as possible by your dentist.

Gum Swelling
If your gums become swollen near a particular tooth, this could mean there has been damage to the roots of one or more teeth due to decay or injury. Gum swelling typically means there is an infection present which needs immediate attention from your dental professional; otherwise, it can spread and cause further harm to your oral health over time.

Sharp Pain When Biting Down
This type of sharp pain is usually caused by cavities or cracked or fractured teeth. Generally speaking, this type of pain will come and go depending on how much pressure is applied. If the problem persists then it might be time for an x-ray so your dentist can get a better look at what might be causing your discomfort. If there are no cavities present then it may just be a matter of having an old filling replaced or getting fitted for a crown to protect the affected area.

Managing Pain Before Seeing Your Dentist
If you’re experiencing pain from your toothache before visiting your dentist for treatment, there are some things you can do to manage it in the short term. One possible solution is rinsing your mouth with warm salt water several times per day to reduce inflammation and help kill bacteria in the mouth. You may also find relief by taking over-the-counter pain medications. Avoid putting anything directly on the affected area as this could cause further damage.

Visiting an Expert
Visiting a dentist is essential for getting the proper diagnosis and treatment for your toothache. A professional can help determine what exactly is causing the pain, recommend potential treatments, and help prevent further complications from occurring. During the appointment, your dentist will take a look at your teeth and may even take x-rays to get a better understanding of the problem.

Taking care of your teeth is essential for maintaining good oral health and should not be taken lightly; so make sure to prioritize seeing a professional as soon as possible if you are having issues with any teeth. In the event of a severe problem, be sure to visit a trusted dentist or oral surgery team, such as Lighthouse Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, to ensure the problem is taken care of right.

Toothaches can range from mild discomfort to severe pain, depending on their cause. Knowing how to tell if a toothache is serious helps ensure that you seek appropriate care right away and avoid further complications down the line.

Common signs of an infection include fever and swelling; however, other less obvious symptoms like bad breath and excessive saliva production may also indicate an infection requiring professional treatment. In addition to seeing a dentist right away for diagnosis and treatment, managing pain with warm salt water rinses or over-the-counter medications may provide temporary relief until you can see a professional for further care. With prompt diagnosis and treatment from your dentist, you’ll soon find yourself free from dental pain.