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Why You Shouldn't Ignore that Lingering Toothache

Apart from brushing and flossing your teeth, you might not think much about your teeth throughout the day. But when a toothache strikes, it’s hard to not think about your teeth. You might feel tempted to take over-the-counter pain medication and ignore your toothache, but that’s just a temporary solution. 

Toothaches are a symptom of another condition, which means they won’t go away until the underlying problem is corrected, and unfortunately, you can’t predict when or if you’ll develop a toothache. That’s why Dr. Constantina Bacopoulou offers emergency dental care in Midtown West Manhattan. 

In the meantime, let’s discuss the reasons why you shouldn’t ignore your lingering toothache.

Pain isn’t the only problem

A toothache never develops without an underlying cause. The pain of a toothache is a warning sign that there’s an underlying problem that requires dental care. 

The following conditions can contribute to toothaches:

  • Tooth decay, especially if the cavity affects the nerves in your tooth
  • Infections
  • Damage, such as cracks, chips, and fractures
  • Gum disease, especially if leads to an infection or abscess 
  • Damaged restorations, including crowns
  • Foreign object lodged between teeth or between your tooth and gums

The only way to eliminate the pain of a toothache is to treat the underlying cause of the pain, and that’s one very good reason to never ignore a toothache.

Ignoring toothaches can lead to more appointments and more costly interventions

Sometimes a toothache is remedied with a simple procedure. For example, a small cavity can be treated with a filling, or a small chip can be corrected with dental bonding. However, if toothaches 一 and the condition behind the pain 一 are ignored, complications may arise. 

If a small crack isn’t treated in a timely manner, bacteria can enter the crack. You may need a root canal or, in severe cases, an extraction to address the damage. This can lead to more procedures and more costs in the long run.

Ignoring toothaches isn’t fun

If you’ve had a toothache, you know that it’s practically impossible to ignore the pain for long. Pain and swelling make it hard to chew, speak clearly, or even sleep at night. Chronic pain and poor sleep create a vicious cycle where the pain makes it hard to sleep, and the lack of sleep reduces your pain tolerance. This can make it hard to focus at work or enjoy time at home with your family. 

Ignoring a toothache only prolongs the time until you feel better.

What to do if you have a toothache

If you have a toothache, it’s important to seek emergency dental care right away at Carnegie Dental Wellness. Dr. Bacopoulou performs a comprehensive exam, determines the source of your toothache, and recommends the appropriate course of action for you. Depending on the ultimate cause of your toothache, some of your potential treatment options may include composite fillings, crowns, root canals, and antibiotics (for infections). If your tooth is beyond repair, Dr. Bacopoulou may recommend an extraction, and we offer many options for replacing your missing tooth, including bridges and implants.

While you wait for your appointment, you may find temporary relief by taking over-the-counter pain relief medication, applying a cold compress to reduce any swelling, swishing with salt water, and avoiding chewing on your affected side.

Don’t ignore a toothache! Call our 58th Street office at 646-453-4770 to schedule an emergency dental appointment. For less urgent matters, you can use our online booking system to request appointments.